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Regis College Library 



M4Y 2R9 






Conducted by the Managers of the Month. 


The Life and Letters of St. Francis Xamer. 

By the Rev. HENRY J. COLERIDGE, of the Society 
of Jesus. 

VOL. I. js. 6d. 

77ie Life of St. Jane Frances Fremyot dc 



TJic History of the Sacred Passion. 

By Father LUIS DE LA PALMA, of the Society of Jesus. 

is. 6rf. 


77/ Life and Letters of St. Francis Xamer 

By the Rev. HENRY J. COLERIDGE, of the Society 
of Jesus. 













[AM rights reserved."] 

To the Reader. 

THIS Second Volume has been delayed by causes beyond my 
control, the effect of which I trust that the reader will forgive. 
Though it is considerably larger than its predecessor, I have 
been obliged to omit many documents illustrative of the text 
which would have made the work more complete. But it 
seemed better, if possible, to comprise the whole matter within 
two volumes even though the second should exceed the size 
originally contemplated in this Series ijian to extend the 
book to three. I could wish to have found room for several 
of the letters of the friends and companions of St. Francis, 
especially of Father Caspar Baertz. Some quotations from 
them will be found at the end of M. Le on Pages French 
translation of the Letters. I regret also in particular having 
been forced to leave out the long letter referred to at pp. 305 
and 386 from Joam Fernandez, which is full of interest in rela 
tion to the questions of the Japanese bonzes. I must content 
myself with publicly thanking the kind friends who took the 
pains to translate it for me from the Portuguese. 

One cause for delay in the completion of the present vo 
lume arose from a circumstance which it may be worth while 

vi Postscript. 

to make public. I was informed in the course of the autumn 
that a collection of manuscript letters of St. Francis Xavier 
was in existence in Portugal, many if not all of which had 
never been published. The same kind friends to whom I 
have already alluded were able to make inquiries as to this 
collection for me, and the result was to enable me to feel cer 
tain that the letters had been brought from the archives of the 
College of the Society at Goa in the last century, at the time 
of the suppression, but that they had all been already examined 
and translated by Father Phillippucci. There may doubtless 
still be existing letters of St. Francis which have never been 
printed, and he himself mentions several which have certainly 
been lost. The King of Portugal must have received many 
such. But I can see no ground for hoping that any consider 
able number will ever be recovered. 

H. J. C. 
London, Eve of St. Thomas the Apostle, 1872. 







Francis revisiting the Paravas. 

Francis with the Bishop at Cochin , i 
Letter of the King to the Governor 2 
Orders regarding religion . . 3 
( , haracter of the Governor . . 4 
Death of Miguel Vaz ... 5 
LETTER LVI. To John III. King of 

Portugal, Cochin, Jan. 20, 1548. 
Information as to the East. . 6 
As to Ceylon in particular . . 6 
Perplexity of Francis as to speak 
ing his mind .... 7 
Causes of mischief to religion . 8 
Declaration which the King 

should make .... 9 
Governors and Commandants 
charged with the interests of re 
ligion .10 

And to be punished for their neg 
lect . . . . .10; 
Great results to be expected from 

this policy - . . . 1 1 ; 
Francis obliged in conscience to 
speak ii j 

Thoughts of japan . . .12 
Want of preachers of the Society 12 
Danger of dec;\y in religion . 1 3 
Calumnies against the Bishop . 13 
Favours asked for Pedro Gonsalvez 14 
Increase of religious of the Society 

in India ..... 16 
LETTER LVI I. To tf\e Reverend Father 
Ignatius of Loyola, Cochin, Jan. 
20, 1548. 

Spiritual needs . . . .16 
Preachers and men of approved 

virtue wanted . . . .16 

Indulgences again asked for . 17 

Arrangements of the missioncrs . 17 

LETTER LVIII. To Master Simon Ka- 

drigiifz, Cochin, Jan. 20, 1548. 
Charge to send preachers . .18 
Men of virtue required . . 18 
Declaration from the Kingwanted 19 
Responsibility of the King . . 19 
He should prepare for judgment . 19 
Charge to be given to his officers 20 




Cruel treatment of the converts . 20 
Francis revisits the Paravas . .21 
Good state of the neophytes . .21 
Newly arrived missioners . . 22 
Francis collects them at Munahpaud 22 
LETTER LIX. Instruction to the 

missioners of the Comorin Coast 23 
Care as to baptizing children . 23 
Continual instruction of children 24 
Assemblies on Sundays and Sa 
turdays 2 - 

Explanation of the creed in Ma 
labar ... .26 
Care of the sick . , 26 i 

Public funerals . 

Settlement of disputes 

Caution as to punishments . 

As to the Portuguese . 

The Malabar priests . . 

The Commandant 

Conversation with the Portuguese 

Letters to the Fathers and the 


Importance of the care of children 
Grammar and dictionary of the Ma 

labar tongue . 
Affairs of Ceylon . 
The King of Candy 



3 2 



Francis and Don foam de Castro. 

Joam de Castro 
His exploit at Diu . 
Triumphant entry into Goa . 
Don Joam and the affairs of re 

ligion . . . 
Treachery of the Rajah of Candy 
Rodrigo Secheira . 
Illness of Don Joam 
Francis on board the fleet for Aden 
Conversion of a sinner . 
Diego Percira 




LETTER LX. To Diego Percira, Goa, 

April 2, 1548. 
Pereira exhorted to the care of his 

conscience . . 
Francis at rest . . . 
Anecdotes of this time . 
Last illness of Don Joam 
Honours and rewards from Portu 


Don Joam s deathbed . 
His devotion to the Cross 





Francis Xavier and Jus Religioiis Brethren. 

Garcia de Sa, Governor of India 

Francis at the College . 

Arrivals from Portugal Caspar 

Baertz . 

Gaspar on the voyage . 
Antonio Gomez .... 
Joam Fernandez .... 
Alfonso de Castro .... 
Gaspar at Goa 

Report of the murder of Francis . 60 
Notices of him in the letters of this 

time 61 

The Comorin Coast . . .62 
LETTER LXI. To Father Francesco En- 

riqttez, Piinical, Oct. 19, 1548. 
Difficulties of the work . . 63 
Its great importance . . .64 
Hostility of Satan ... 64 



The Rajah of the Maldive Isles . 65 
LKTTER LXII. To Father Ignatius 

Martinez, Goa, Dec. 22, 1548. 
The College of Villa Viciosa . 66 
Letters from Europe . . .66 
LETTER LXIII. To the Rev. Father 
Master Ignatius of Loyola, General 
of the Society of Jesus, Rome, Co 
chin, Jan. 14, 1549. 
Character of the Indians . . 67 
Trials from the climate and 

hardships . . . .68 
Qualities required in missioners . 68 
In the Rector at Goa . . . " 69 
No force in the Society . . 69 
Distribution, of the missioners in 

the East 7 

Difficulties from the natives . 70 
Prospects in Japan . . . 71 
Dangers in the journey . . 72 
What Simon Rodriguez might do 

in India 7 2 

Recruits to be sent . . -73 
The seminary at Cranganor . 73 
Fra Vincenzo s wishes . . 74 
Francis asks for a mass at S. Pie- 

tro in Montorio . . .74 
Statements of Anger about Japan . 75 
Chinghinquo .... 75 

Sakyamouni 76 

Antonio Criminale . . . .76 
LETTER LXIV. To the Rev. Father 
Master Ignatius of Loyola, General 
of the Society of Jesus, Rome, Co 
chin, Jan. 14, 1549. 
Account of the missioners in India 77 
The Japanese way of writing . 78 

LETTER LXV. To John III. King of 

Portugal, Cochin, Jan. 28, 1549. 
Commendation of Fatherjoam de 

Villa Conde . . -79 
Hostility of the King of Ceylon to 

religion . 8 

Terrible responsibility of the King 

of Portugal . . 8l 
The Armenian bishop . . 82 
The hour of death . 8 3 
LETTER LXVI. To Master Simon Ro 
driguez, Cochin, Jan. 28, 1549. 
Joy at the anival of new Fathers 84 
Preachera wanted . . -84 
Orphans of the Portuguese . 85 
Thoughts of Japan . . .85 
The University of Chinghinquo . 86 
Wine wanted for mass . . 87 
Help for Socotra . . -87 
Intended arrangements at Goa . 88 
The College at Bazain . . 89 

Cranganor 89 

Indulgences for the churches . 90 
Estevan Luis Buralho . . 90 
Niccolo Lancilotti . . 9 1 
News from Malacca . - 9 2 

Reported death of Joam Beira . 92 
Death of Adam Francesco . . 93 
Simon should come out himself. 94 
LETTER LXVI I. To Master Simon 

Rodriguez, Feb. i, 1549. 
Recommendation of two citizens 

of Malacca . . . -95 
LETTER LXVIIT. To Master Simon 

Rodriguez, Cochin, Jan. 25, 1549. 
Introduction of the bearer . . 97 
Francis at Cochin .... 99 


Arrangement of the Missions in India. 

Arrangements to be made in India. 103 

Ormuz 104 

Great moral corruption there . . 105 
Gaspar Baertz destined for the mis 

Francis intends to go to Japan . 100 
Attractions of the enterprize . . 101 
Prayers for guidance . . . 101 
Discovery of Japan by Mendez 
Pinto . .102 





LETTER LXXVI. To Fa f her Paul of 
Camerino and Father Antonio Go 
mes, Malacca, Eve of St. John Bap 
tist, 1549. 

Cristoval Carvalho advised to 
marry i 97 

The widow of Diego Froez and 
her daughter .... 197 

The fathers debt of gratitude to 
the widow . . . .198 

To exert themselves for her . 198 

The royal rescript . . . 199 

Intentions of the King to benefit 
her family .... 200 

Eagerness of Francis in the matter 200 

of Portugal, Malacca, June 23, 1549. 
Commendation of Duarte Barreto 201 
He deserves some reward from 

the King .... 202 

Francis on the eve of sailing . . 203 

LETTER LXXVI 1 1. To Joam Bravo, 

Malacca, Eve of St. John Baptist, 


Rule of life. Meditation . 
Examination of conscience 
Faithfulness in observance . 
Continual selfconquest 
Obedience to Father Perez 
Openness in confession 


Account of Japan sent to Father 
Ignatius Loyola at Rome, from 
the statements of Anger (Han- 
Siro) the Japanese convert . 208 


2. Account of Japan by Jorge Al 

varez 216 

Remarks on these accounts . . 221 
Their value . . . 221 





Voyage to Japan and stay at Cagoxima, 

Accident to Emmanuel the Chi 
nese 228 

The daughter of the captain 
drowned ..... 229 

Reflections of Francis . . 230 

Danger of timidity . . . 230 

Modern accounts of Japan . . 225 

The voyage from Malacca . . 225 

LETTER LXXIX. To the Society at 

Goa, Cagoxima, Nov. 5, 1549. 
The crew of idolaters . . . 227 
Consulting the devil by lots . 228 




Confidence in God to be practised 

in little matters . . 231 

The vessel at Canton . . . 232 

Arrival at Cagoxima . . . 233 

Paul s reception at Cagoxima . 233 

Francis and the Prince of Sat- 

souma 234 

The bonzes 2 34 

Francis makes little distinction be 
tween the various religions . 236 
Doubts as to the religion of Ningh- 

sit 236 

LETTER LXXIX. (continued). 
Characteristics of the Japanese . 237 
Curiosity and hatred of theft . 238 
Impurity of the bonzes . . 238 
The bonzes and bonzesses . . 239 
Astonishment at the prevalence 

of unnatural crimes . . . 240 
And at the honour paid the bonzes 241 
Conversations with Ningh-sit . 241 
The great field opened in Japan . 242 
Importance of selfdistrust . . 242 
No reliance but on God . . 243 
Fruits of confidence . . . 244 
Care against presumption . . 244 
Resistance to temptation . . 245 
Knowledge of our own weakness 246 
Another snare of the devil . . 247 
How to resist it . . . . 247 
Never to ask with importunity . 248 
Humble duties .... 249 
Danger of inconstancy . . 249 
Beginnings at Cagoxima . . 250 
The picture of the Madonna . 251 
Need of knowledge of thelanguage 251 
Benefit of dependence on God . 252 
Of privations in food . . . 253 
Possibility of great danger . . 254 
Trust in God ..... 255 
Protection of heavenly patrons . 255 
Assistance of prayers . . . 256 
Intended journey to Meaco . 256 
Japanese universities . . . 257 
Letters to the universities of Eu 
rope . . . . . 258 
Interview with the Prince . . 259 


Affectionate conclusion . . 260 

Some fathers summoned to Japan . 261 

LETTER LXXX. To the Fathers Caspar 

Baertz, Balthasar Gago, and Diego 

Carvalhes, Cagoxima, Nov. 4, 


They are to come to Japan . 262 
LETTER LXXXI. To the Society at Goa, 

Cagoxima, Nov. 8, 1549. 
Preachers to be distributed in 

India . . . . 263 
Teaching of the Catechism . 264 
Two Japanese bonzes converted. 264 
Character of Antonio Gomez . 265 
Plan of Francis for commerce be 
tween India and Japan . . 266 
LETTER LXXXII. To Father Antonio 
Gomez, of the Society of Jesus, Cago 
xima, Nov. 5, 1549. 
Antonio exhorted to great care of 

his own soul . 267 

Letters expected from him . 268 
He is warned not to disobey as 

to sending the Fathers . . 269 
If one is dead, a substitute to be 

sent 270 

The Governor to be induced to 

open trade with Osaka . .271 
Merchants at Goa to be tempted 272 
Merchandize in demand in Japan 272 
The ships not to linger in Chinese 

ports . . 273 

Not to be allowed to take too 

much pepper .... 273 
Express orders from the Governor 

not to linger .... 274 
Orders for India .... 275 
Postscript by Francis . . . 276 
LETTER LXXXIII. To Don Pedro de 
Silva, Commandant of Jfalacca, 
Cagoxima, Nov. 5, 1549. 
Don Pedro s great kindness 277 
Prospects in Japan . . . 278 
The Japanese do not sin against 

reason . . . 278 

Voyage to Meaco deferred . . 279 
Don Pedro and his father . . 279 




Commerce with Osaka . . 280 
Alms asked for the poor Chris 
tians . 281 

Recommendation of some Ja 
panese 282 

Rejoicings at Malacca . . . 282 


Firando, Amanguchi, and Meaco. 

The Portuguese at Firando . . 283 
Miracles of Francis at Cagoxima . 284 
The Prince of Satsouma hostile . 285 
Francis passes to Firando . . 286 
The Castle of Kkandono . . 287 
Stability of the converts there . 288 
Visit of Father Luis d Almeyda . 289 
Francis well received at Firando . 290 
He determines to go to Meaco . 290 
He goes to Amanguchi . . . 291 
The Prince of Amanguchi . . 292 
Journey to Meaco .... 293 

Its results 294 

Presents to the King of Amanguchi 294 

Toleration there .... 294 

LETTER LXXXIV. To the Society at 

Goa, Amanguchi (July 1551). 
Interference of the bonzes at Ca 
goxima ..... 295 

Occupations there . . . 296 

Insults at Amanguchi . . . 297 

Meaco ..... 298 

The King of Amanguchi . 

Controversies .... 

Japanese opinion of the Chinese 

Zeal and devotion of the new 

Christians .... 

The gift of tongues at Amanguchi . 

Natural virtues of the Japanese 

Intellectual activity 

Necessity of picked men as mis- 

sioners ..... 305 
Difficulties of the converts . . 305 
Joam Fernandez insulted when 

preaching .... 306 
Impression produced by his meek 
ness 306 

Conversion of a young doctor . 306 




The King of Boungo. 

Requirements of the Japanese mis 
sion ..... 307 

Progress and opposition in Aman 
guchi ..... 308 

Portuguese merchants at Figi . 309 

LETTER LXXXV. To the Merchants 
at the Port of Figi, Amanguchi, 
Sept. i, 1551. 

Inquiry as to who they are . . 309 
Recommendation as to their con 
sciences ..... 310 

Francis sets out for Figi . . 311 

Joyful reception by the merchants . 31*2 
Message from the King of Boungo 313 
Solemn procession to the Court . 313 
Reception at the palace . . .314 
Civan, King of Boungo. . . 315 
Conversion of a bonze . . . 316 
Revolution at Amanguchi . . 317 
Francis and the King . . . 318 
Conference with Fucarandono . 319 
Fucarandono dismissed by the King 320 
Alarm of the Portuguese . .321 
They resolve to stay with Francis . 322 




Conferences with the bonzes . . 323 
The one Creator .... 324 
Question as to means of salvation . 325 
The two Paradises . . . 326 
Amida and Buddha . . . 326 
God s foreknowledge of evil . . 327 
And of the sin of Adam . . 328 

Necessity for theological training . 329 
Francis embarks . . . . 330 
LETTER LXXXVI. To the Society in 

Europe, Cochin, Jan. 29, 1552. 
Character of the Japanese . . 331 
Bonzes and bonzesses . . . 332 
No doctrine of creation . . 333 
The five precepts . . . 333 
Teaching of the bonzes . . 334 
Notes of credit on the next world 334 
Stay at Cagoxima . . . 335 
Amanguchi .... 335 
Meaco 336 

Favour of the King of Amanguchi 336 

Origin of evil .... 337 

No redemption in hell . . 337 

Converts at Amanguchi . . 338 

Antiquity of the law of God . 338 

Opposition of the bonzes . . 340 

Relaxation of discipline . . 340 

The Japanese devotions . . 341 

Nectandono and his wife . . 342 

Japanese heaven . . . 342 
Message from the King of Boungo 343 

Determination to sail for India . 344 

University of Bandou . . . 345 

Austereness of the bonzes . . 345 

The house at Amanguchi . . 346 

Japanese difficulties as to hell . 347 

The Chinese Empire . . . 248 

Great consolations in Japan . 349 

Names of the Japanese gods . . 350 

Paul and his converts at Cagoxima 351 


Voyage from Japan to India. 

The vessel caught by a storm . 352 
Loss of the boat .... 353 
Confidence of Francis Xavier . 354 
Francis praying in the cabin . . 356 
Return of the boat . . . 356 
Circumstances omitted by Mcndez 

Pinto 357 

San Chan 358 

Plans for a Chinese Embassy. .359 
Sailing for Malacca . . . 360 | 
The Santa Cioce .... 361 
Siege of Malacca in the summer . 362 
LETTER LXXXV1I. To the Society 
at Malacca, Straits of Singapore, 
Dec. 30, 1551. 

Passage to India to be secured . 363 
Francis at Malacca . . . 364 
ther in Jesus Christ, Ignatius, at 
Koine, Cochin, Jan. 29, 1552. 
Receipt of letter from Ignatius . 365 | 

Benefits received in Japan . . 366 
A Rector for Goa . . . 367 
Requirements in missioners for 

Japan 367 

Severe trials from the bonzes . 368 
Men of intellect and training re 
quired ..... 360 
Great care in selection . . 370 
Pilgrimages recommended . . 371 
State of things at Amanguchi . 372 
Commendation of the Japanese . 372 
The Chinese Empire . . . 373 
The Chinese and Japanese alpha 
bet 373 

Book written in Chinese charac 
ters 37-1 

LETTER LXXXIX. To Master Simon 
Rodriguez, Cochin, Jan. 20, 1552. 
Requisites for the Japanese mis 
sion 375 

Belgian and German fathers . 375 




University of Bandou . . 376 
Difficulties of the mission . . 377 
Tyranny of the Portuguese Captain 

of the Fishery Coast . . 378 


Petition of the Christians . . 378 
Letter to a. Vicar General (note) . 380 


1. Letter to the Society at Coimbra 

from Cagoxima, November 5, 
1549 . . . . .382 

2. The evidence as to the posses 

sion of the gift of tongues by 
Francis Xavier . . . 383 
3. Disputes at Amanguchi between 

Cosmo Torres and the Bonzes 386 




Last stay of Francis at Cochin and Goa. 

Rapid movements of Francis Xavier 389 
The new Viceroy .... 390 
Death of Nunez Ribero . . 391 

Manuel de Moraes and Francesco 

Gonzalez .... 391 

Ormuz ...... 392 

Disturbance at Cochin . . . 392 
Set right by Francis . . . 393 
LETTER XC. To Father Paul of Camt- 

rino, Cochin, Feb. 4, 1552. 
Dismissals from the Society . 393 
Melchior Gonzalez and Balthasar 

Nunez ..... 394 
Francis at Goa . . . . 395 
New arrivals ..... 396 
The College of Santa Fe reformed 397 
Punishment of Antonio Gomez . 398 
Impressions of the new Fathers as 

to Francis ;. . . . 398 
lie devotes himself to the care of 

the religious .... 399 

Number of his writings at this time 400 
LETTER XCI. To Father Melchior 
Nunez Barrcto, Goa, Feb. 29, 1552. 
Melchior appointed Rector at Ba- 

zain ..... 401 
Care of revenues . . .401 
Relief to the missioners . . 402 
Great economy in the Seminary . 402 
Collection of rents . . . 403 
Practice of humility . . . 404 
Nunez at Bazain .... 404 
LETTER XCII. To Father Melchior 

Nunez, Goa, April 1552. 
Moderation and humility . . 405 
Goodwill of the Commandant and 

Clergy 405 

Giving others credit for good 

works ..... 406 
LETTER XCIII. To Father Melchior 

Niiiiez, Goa, April 3, 1552. 
Melchior s letter received . . 407 




Care to read instructions . . 407 
How to spend the income of the 

College ..... 408 
Intentions of the founders . . 409 
Attention to humble and charit 
able ministrations . . . 410 
Joam Gonzalez Rodriguez at Ormuz 411 
LETTER XCIV. To Father Joam Gon 
zalez Rodriguez, College of Santa 
Fe, Goa, March 22, 1552. 
Hindrances to fruitfulness . . 412 
Obedience to the Vicar . . 412 
Watchfulness over self . . 413 
Rule given to Master Gaspar . 413 
Asking pardon of the Vicar . 414 
Fruit to be gained without offence 415 
News of Japan .... 415 
Great freedom of Francis in writ 
ing 416 

Alfonso Cipriani at Meliapor . . 417 

His quarrel with the Vicar . . 418 

LETTER XCV. To Father Alfonso 

Cipriani, April 1552. 
Severe blame .... 419 
Harshness the result of negligence 419 
No good fruit but by humility . 420 
The Vicar s pardon to be asked . 420 
Consideration only won by hu 
mility 421 

Rules for the future . . .422 
End of the letter in Francis own 

hand . . . . . 422 
LETTER XCVI. To Father Antonio 

Eredia, Goa, April 2, 1552. 
How to conduct himself at Cochin 423 
The Brothers of Mercy . . 423 
Modesty and humility in general 

conduct ..... 424 
Influence the gift of God to men 

of virtue ..... 424 
Examen of conscience . . 425 
Notes after meditation . . 426 
No haste in hearing confessions . 427 
Necessity of quitting occasions of 

sin 427 

Satisfaction required . . . 428 
Care in conversation . . . 428 


LETTER XCVI I. To Father Simon 

Rodriguez, Goa, March 27, 1552. 
Andrew Carvalhez sent to Portu 
gal for his health . . . 430 
LETTER XCVIII. To Father Gaspar 
Baertz, April 1552. 

Practice of humility for a preacher 431 

God s bounty to the people the 
cause of success . . . 43 1 

Prayers of the Society throughout 
the world . . . .432 

Compare the results with what 
might have been . . . 433 

Lights in prayer to be noted down 433 

Success of a preacher depends on 
selfcontempt .... 434 

Instances of the punishment of 
arrogance .... 434 

Nothing of our own in the salva 
tion of souls .... 435 

Ixiwer offices in the Society not to 

be despised . . . 435 
Documents appointing Gaspar Rec 
tor 436 

Ordering him not to leave Goa . 439 
Communicating privileges to him . 439 
Providing successors in case of 

death 440 

LETTER XCIX. To Father Gaspar 
Baertz, Rector of the College at Goa, 
Goa, April 15, 1552. 

How to converse with men with 
out offence . . . -441 

Rules as to visiting women . 442 

And as to conversing with them . 442 

Time to be given to their husbands 443 

In case of quarrel, the husband to 
be led to confession . . 443 

Wives who wish to enter religion 
to be discouraged . . . 444 

Part not to be taken against the 
husband . . . . . 444 

Men not to be blamed before 
others 445 

Wives to be admonished of their 
duty 445 

Equal balance to be held . . 446 




If the arbiter fails, let him refer 

them to the Bishop . . . 446 
Great moderation in intercourse 

with all 447 

All angry reprehension to be 

avoided ..... 448 
When attacked by other religious, 

we are to be silent . . . 448 
God will reward us ... 449 
The Bishop may be appealed to 449 
The Society not to be defended 

in the pulpit .... 450 
LETTER C. To Father Caspar Baertz, 

Goa, April 1552. 

Instruction to a Superior . .451 
Selfabasement and modesty . 451 
Disobedience and arrogance to be 

punished 452 

Great care as to admission to the 

Society 453 

Exercises to be given to postulants 453 
Instruction as to the vows . 454 

Fathers at a distance not to admit 

subjects ... . 455 

Superiors to write every year to 

St. Ignatius .... 455 
Care as to the contents of the let 
ters to Europe . . . 456 
Ignatius to be urged to send In 
dulgences .... 457 
Great profit from the Jubilee . 457 
Certain classes not to be admitted 

to the Society . . . 458 
Unlearned men not to be made 

priests . . . . . 459 
First care to be given to home 

duties 459 

Subordinates : 490 

Greatest care as to functions of 

widest usefulness . . : 490 
Information as to the fathers at 

a distance . . . .461 
Letters to be written to Francis . 461 
Great respect to the Bishop . 462 
And to his Vicars . . . 462 
Extension of the Jubilee . . 463 
Arrangements for Diu and Japan 463 


And for Cochin .... 464 
As to Melchior Nunez . . 464 
Friendship with the Dominicans 

and Franciscans . . . 465 
The Bishop to settle differences . 466 
Worldly business to be avoided . 466 
Persons who come to confession 

to beg 467 

Care of the seminary boys . . 468 

Letters to the King . . . 469 

Petitions for aid . . . 469 

LETTER CI. To Father Caspar Baertz, 

April 1552. 

Care of the College deeds . 470 

Annual pension not paid . . 470 
Remedy to be applied . : 471 
Administration of funds . . 471 
Debts to be paid off . . . 472 
Warning against building . . 472 
College revenues not to be given 

away 473 

Lists of creditors and debtors . 474 
How the revenue is to be collected 475 
Various orders .... 476 
As to letters to the King . . 477 
LETTER CII. To Father Caspar 

Baertz, April 1552. 
About Antonio Gomez and An 
drew Carvalhez . . . 477 
LETTER CIII: To Father Caspar 

Baertz, April 1552. 
Former counsels summed up and 

repeated 478 

Francis refuses a College at Chaul . 481 
The Chinese Embassy . . -481 
Mission of Andrew Fernandez to 

Europe : 482 

The Jubilee 483 

LETTER CIV. To my Father in Christ, 

St. Ignatius, April 9, 1552. 
Letter sent in January . . 483 
Designs on China . : . 484 
Caspar made Rector at Goa . 484 
Needs of Japan .... 485 
Qualities required in the missioners 485 
Belgians and Germans . . 486 
A Rector wanted for Goa . . 486 




News of his old companions de 
sired 487 

LETTER CV. To Father Simon Rod 
riguez in Portugal, Goa, April 7, 1552; 
Brethren sent to Japan . . 488 
Qualities which the missioners 

must have .... 489 
Letter to Ignatius , . , 489 
Mass cannot be said in the Japan 
ese universities . , . 490 
Needs of the Society in India . 491 
Grand prospects in view . 492 

Simon s journey to Rome . . 492 
Intentions of Francis . . . 493 
LETTER CVI. To Father Simon Rodri 
guez in Portugal, Goa, April 9, 1552. 
Recommendation of two Japanese 494 
The Spaniards and Japan . . 494 
Danger to the latter if they invade 

Japan 495 

Object of the visitors in Europe . 495 
LETTER CVII. To John III. King of 

Portugal, Goa, April 10, 1552. 
Letter from Cochin . . . 496 
The expedition to China . . 496 
What Francis will do there . . 497 


Grounds of confidence . . 497 
The King urged to ask for mis 
sioners ..... 498 
And a Rector for Goa . . 498 
Francis taking leave of his friends . 499 
At the College .... 499 
Last exhortation .... 500 
Maundy Thursday . . . 500 
Francis at Cochin .... 501 
LETTER CVII I. To Father Caspar 

Baertz, Cochin, April 24. 1552. 
Death of Paolo Valle . . .501 
Enrico Enriquez alone . . 502 
Needs at Coulan . . . 502 
Firmness with debtors . . 503 
Carefulness in these temporal mat 
ters 503 

Eredia at Cochin . . . 504 
Alvarez Alfonso .... 505 
Temporal means needed . . 505 
Care as to admissions . . 506 
Balthasar Nunez and Francesco 

Lopez 507 

letters to Malacca . . . 508 

Warning to Cipriani . . . 508 

Departure of Francis . . . 509 


Francis and Don Alvaro d Ataide. 

Hopeful prospects at this time . 510 
Don Alvaro d Ataide . . .511 
Grudge against Diego Pereira . 511 
Don Alvaro made Capitan del 

mare 511 

Voyage to Malacca . . . 512 
Plague at Malacca . . . 512 
Pereira s rudder seized . . . 513 
Fruitless intervention of officials . 514 
Patience of Francis Xavier . . 515 
He reveals that he is Apostolic 

Nuncio 516 

Intervention of the Vicar . . 517 
Obstinacy of Don Alvaro . . 517 

Francis allowed to go to China 

alone 518 

LETTER CIX. To Diego Pereira, 
June 25. 1552. 

Humble and affectionate condo 
lence ..... 518 
LETTER CX. To Master Caspar Baertz 
of the Society of Jesus, Rector at 
Goa, Malacca, July 15, 1552. 

Alvaro Gentili .... 520 

LETTER CXI. To Father Caspar 
Baertz, Malacca, July 16, 1552. 

Debt of Francis to Don Pedro 
de Silva 521 

It is to be paid at once . . 522 




Promise made to Diego Pereira . 523 
Prophecy as to Don Alvaro . . 524 
Disturbance in the Society in Eu 
rope 524 

Prophecy to Francesco Perez . 
Francis last day at Malacca . 
Shaking off the dust of his feet 





San Chan. 

The Santa Croce at Singapore . 527 

LETTER CXI I. To Father Caspar 

Baertz, Rector of the College at Goa, 

Straits of Singapore, July 20, 1552. 

Troubles at Malacca . . . 528 

Why he desires the publication 

of the excommunication . . 529 
Missioners sent to Japan . . 529 
Injunctions to be observed . . 530 
LETTER CXIII. To Father -Joam Beira, 
Straits of Singapore, July 21, 1552. 
Interior lights to be kept secret . 530 
Arrangements to be made at Goa 531 
LETTER CXIV. Jo Father Master Gas- 
par, Straits of Singapore, July 22, 


An interpreter for Japan . . 532 

Provision for him . . . 533 

The best gold to be sent to Japan 533 

LETTER CXV. To John the Japanese, 

Straits of Singapore, July 22, 1552. 
Provision to be made for him at 

Goa and Cochin . . . 534 
LETTER CXVI. To Diego Pereira,*- 

Straits of Singapore, Aug. I, 1552. 
Anxiety as to his health . . 535 
Kindness of Pereira s people . 536 
Letters to the King . . . 536 
Recommendation of prudence . 537 
Sources of spiritual comfort . 537 
Francesco de Villa . . . 537 
The King to be informed as to 

commerce with China . . 538 

The Bishop s Vicar . . . 539 
Great want of water on the voyage 540 
Miracle of the water . . . 541 
A child restored to life . . 541 
Mussulmans baptized at Tchin- 

tcheon 542 

Life at San Chan . . . 543 
Pedro Velho .... 543 
Promise made to him by Francis 544 
Its fulfilment .... 545 
First illness of Francis . . 545 
LETTER CXVI I. To Diego Pereira, 

San Chan, Oct. 21, 1552. 
Agreement with the Canton mer 
chant .... 
Merit of Pereira . 
Manuel de Chaves 
Thoughts of going to Siam. 
Hopes of meeting in China 
Francesco de Villa 
LETTER CXVI II. To Francesco Perez 

of the Society of Jesus, San Chan, 

Oct. 21, 1552. 

Perez is ordered to leave Malacca 548 
To go to Cochin and be Rector 

there 549 

LETTER CXIX. To Francesco Perez 

of the Society of Jesus, San Chan, 

Oct. 22, 1552. 

Francis at San Chan . . . 549 
Dangers of the voyage to Canton 550 
Greater danger of mistrust in God 550 
The Chinese at San Chan . . 551 


1 A duplicate of this letter, dated July 22, is epitomized in a footnote, p. 539. 




LETTER CXX. To Father Caspar 
Baertz, San Chan, Oct. 25, 1552. 
Attempt to enter Canton . . 550 
Study of humility . . . 552 
Carefulness as to admissions . 553 
Punishment of grave faults . . 553 
Dangers of Francis s plan . . 554 
Soundness of his design . . 555 
LETTER CXXI. To Father Francesco 
Perez of the Society of Jesus, San 
Chan, Nov. 12, 1552. 
Great deserts of Diego Pereira . 556 
Dismissal of Ferreira . . . 557 
Arrangements as to leaving Ma 
lacca 558 

Malacca must certainly be left . 559 
The voyage to Canton . . 559 
LETTER CXXI I. To Diego Pereira, 

Chan, Nov. 12, 1552. 
Great debt of Francis to Pereira . 560 
How he will pay it ... 561 
Hopes as to entering China 562 
The voyage to Siam . . . 563 
LETTER CXXI 1 1. To Father Caspar 
Baertz, San Chan, Nov. 13, 1552. 
As to the excommunication of 

Don Alvaro .... 564 
Reasons for it . . . 564 

Few to be admitted to the Society 564 

Satan s anger at the designs on 

China 565 

LETTER CXXIV. To Fathers Fran 
cesco Perez and Caspar Baertz, 
San Chan, Nov. 13, 1552. 
Renewed order as to the excom 
munication .... 566 
Request to be made of the Bishop 566 
Why Francis urges this . . 567 
The Bishop to write to his Vicar 568 
Danger of the Canton enterprise . 568 
Gaspar to attend to instructions . 569 
Fastidiousness as to admissions . 570 
Frances struck with fever . .571 
In the cabin of Jorge Alvarez. . 571 
Last days and death . . . 572 

His burial 572 

Wonderful preservation of his body 572 
Taken to Malacca .... 572 
Reception there .... 573 
End of Don Alvaro . . . 574 
Joam Beira at Malacca . . . 575 
The body embarked for India . 575 
Miracles on the voyage . . . 575 

At Baticala 576 

Arrival at Rebandar . . . 576 
Reception at Goa .... 577 
Letter from St. Ignatius . . 577 
Body of St. Francis at Goa . . 578 




Francis revisiting the Para-vat. 

FRANCIS XAVIER landed at Cochin on the i3th of January 
1548. It happened that the good old Bishop of Goa was on 
the spot, being engaged in a visitation of some of the widely 
.separated towns in his immense diocese, and it must have been 
a wonderful consolation for both of them thus to meet unex 
pectedly after so long an interval. It was perhaps in conse 
quence of the presence of the Bishop at Cochin that Francis 
wrote, almost immediately on his arrival, to the King of Portu 
gal the letter which will presently be inserted. His last letter 
to the King had been written just three years before, and it was 
full, as we have seen, of most earnest exhortations as to the 
absolute necessity of the most rigorous measures to insure the 
propagation of Christianity in India and the protection of the 
converts. It would seem from the tone of the present letter 
that there were grave reasons for fearing, either that the King s 
will was not sufficiently determined, or that his mind was not 
sufficiently enlightened as to his duties in this respect. King 
John, indeed, may well be supposed not to have understood, and 
perhaps no one not on the spot could understand, the immense 
difficulties in the way of the progress of religion which were 
raised by the avarice and tyranny of the Portuguese, and the 
connivance and apathy of the governors. In fact, a glance at 
the annals of Portuguese India, which show us how one war 
like enterprise after another occupied the attention and the 
energies of the viceroys and governors, is enough to make it at 
least intelligible that the minds of the highest officials of the 
Crown in India were too much turned in this direction to leave 
them time to watch minutely over the interests of the native 


St. Francis Xavier. 

converts or those who might become converts, who would thus 
be left to the tender mercies of subordinate commandants like 
Cosmo de Payva, who would prove themselves very service 
able officers in time of danger, and would thus be regarded with 
much favour at headquarters. 

King John had not been deaf to the entreaties and exhor 
tations of Francis, nor to the representations of the good Vicar 
Miguel Vaz, who, as we have seen, had undertaken the long 
voyage to Portugal with the purpose of pleading in person the 
cause of religion at the court. Miguel Vaz probably crossed 
in his voyage to Europe the path of Don Joam de Castro, the 
Governor of India, sent out in 1545 to supply the place of 
Martin Alfonso de Sousa. A long letter is extant from the 
King to Don Joam, written in March 1546, which may safely 
be considered as embodying the effects of the joint pleadings- 
of Francis Xavier and Miguel Vaz upon the sovereign and his- 
council. Many of the recommendations made by Francis were 
attended to. Governor, my friend, the letter begins, the es 
sential duty of Christian sovereigns, which is to watch over the 
interests of religion, and make their whole power serve to the 
maintenance of the faith, obliges me to communicate to you a 
profound grief which I have of late felt. The King then states 
some of the causes of this grief. He has been told that idols 
are still publicly worshipped in many parts of his dominions, 
even in Goa itself, and in those places where the true faith 
ought to be most flourishing. He commands that the idols be 
sought for and broken in pieces wherever they may be found, 
and that most rigorous punishments be proclaimed against those 
who make or decorate them, who celebrate heathen games in 
their honour, or who protect and conceal the Brahmins, their 
ministers. Moreover, that the heathen may be attracted to con 
version, not only by conviction of the truth and hope of eter 
nal reward, but also by some temporal favours, the new Chris 
tians are for the future to enjoy all the liberties and immunities 
before enjoyed by Pagans. The King had been told that the 
natives are pressed into the service of his fleet. The Chris 
tians are henceforth to be freed from this obligation, except in 

Revisiting the Paravas. 

the case of urgent necessity, and then they are to receive a 
fair indemnity for their labour. The abuse by which the Portu 
guese were in the habit of seizing and buying slaves very 
cheap, and then selling them at a large profit to Mussulman 
merchants and other heathens, is to be stopped by the Go 
vernor s diligence. An ancient law of the city of Goa allowed 
exorbitant usury ; this is to be abrogated. A church, begun 
under the invocation of St. Joseph at Bazain, is to be finished 
and endowed. The preachers and missionaries to the heathen 
are to be supported by an annual grant of 3000 pardams, levied 
on the mosques in the Portuguese dominions. The new con 
verts made by Miguel Vaz at Chaul are to have 300 large 
measures of rice every year, to be distributed by the Bishop. 
Some exactions practised on the Christians of St. Thomas by 
the Portuguese merchants at Cochin are to cease. The Rajah 
of Cochin is to leave off certain superstitious rites which he 
had been used to insist on in the sale of pepper, which were 
scandalous to the new Christians; and as to his persecution of 
the natives who have embraced the faith, the King of Portugal 
writes to him personally, but the Governor is also to insist on 
his abandonment of all such persecution. The people of So- 
cotra are to be succoured against the Turkish cruisers, and 
Miguel Vaz is to be consulted as to the measures which are to 
be taken. The natives on the Fishery Coast are to be pro 
tected against those Portuguese officers who have been in the 
habit of imposing intolerable exactions upon them, which made 
them in fact fish for the pearls for their masters profit and 
not their own ; and if the Governor thinks that the coast can 
be sufficiently protected and the revenue received without the 
presence of any Portuguese vessels, these are to be recalled, 
and forbidden to frequent the coast in future, that the natives 
may be left to themselves in peace. Francis Xavier is espe 
cially to be consulted on these points, and also as to the policy 
of leaving the new converts altogether without any labour im 
posed on them as a matter of obligation to the Crown. As 
new converts from Paganism are frequently illtreated, and even 
despoiled of their goods by the heathen, Miguel Vaz is to be 

St. Francis Xavier. 

consulted as to the measures to be taken to grant them sup 
port and aid from the royal treasury, which assistance is to be 
distributed to them by the hands of their pastors. The fugitive 
prince from Ceylon is to be kindly received and supported 
at the royal expense, and his rights to the succession of the 
crown are to be carefully examined. But the Governor is not 
to wait for this to exact satisfaction from the Rajah of Jafana- 
patam for his detestable cruelty to his newly converted sub 
jects, that all the sovereigns of India may know, says the 
King, how dear justice is to us, and how much we have it at 
heart to protect all the oppressed. Heathen artisans are not 
to be allowed to make images or pictures of Jesus Christ and 
the Saints. Churches are to be finished at Cochin, Coulan, and 
Calapour, and to be built at Naram and Coram, without regard 
to expense. Schools and places of meeting are to be built, 
whither heathens as well as Christians may come to hear ser 
mons and be present at sacred functions. All idols are to be 
destroyed throughout Salsette and Bardez, and the minds of 
the heathen are to be prepared for this step. The letter, 
which is dated March 8, 1546, from Almeirim, concludes with 
some general recommendations as to the exemplary life of the 
missionaries, and the protection which is to be afforded to 
their neophytes. 1 

So much is necessarily left in this letter to the discretion of 
the Governor, that it may be doubted whether it would have 
been quite satisfactory to Miguel Vaz, who probably accom 
panied it on its journey to India, if he was not actually its 
official bearer. Joam de Castro was a fine specimen of the 
class of gallant Portuguese soldiers, who distinguished them 
selves in India and elsewhere in those, the heroic, days of the 
history of that now degenerate kingdom ; but his government 
of the Indies was characterized rather by warlike exploits than 
by any great deeds for the advancement of the faith. He was 
thought to be guided more by secular policy than by considera 
tions of the interests of religion. Francis Xavier must have 
learnt from the Bishop, when he met him at Cochin, that, as 
1 Leon Pages, t. ii. p. 458. 

Re-visiting the Paravas. 

to the affairs of Ceylon and the Fishery Coast in particular, 
those who looked more singly to the cause of Christianity were 
not at all satisfied with the proceedings of the Governor. But 
there was a piece of bad news which the Bishop would give 
Francis, which must have afflicted him still more deeply. 
Miguel Vaz had lately died, as it was said, with suspicion of 
poison, at Chaul, the very place mentioned in the King s letter 
to the Governor as the scene of his apostolical labours. 2 It 
appears that evil reports had been spread about, by which this 
good Bishop, whose right hand he had so long been, was 
blamed as having had some share in his death ! We shall see 
that Francis Xavier thought enough of the mischief which such 
reports might occasion to contradict them formally and of his 
own knowledge to the King, whose ears they were sure to 
reach, all the more as it was evident that this zealous Bishop 
was not regarded with a friendly eye by some of the Portuguese 
officials, to whose tyranny and exactions he probably opposed 
himself. But the death of Miguel Vaz must have been a very 
severe blow, and the feeling of its severity may in part account 
for the very strong and urgent language in which Francis now 
writes to the King, just a week after his arrival in India, in 
order, no doubt, that it might reach Goa in time to be sent to 
Portugal by the ships which sailed that year. This letter, how 
ever, was the fruit of his own experience and reflections, as well 
as the report of the Bishop, and its language and recommenda 
tions must be considered as referring not only to India pro 
perly so called, but also to the settlements under the Portu 
guese Crown in the farther East, where Francis may probably 
have met with that jealousy and punctiliousness among officials, 
of which he complains as a serious hindrance to the advance 
of religion. 

The letter, which was probably begun at Malacca, is as 
follows : 

2 Faria y Sousa, Asia Portuguesa (t. ii. p. 2, cap. 6) seems to hint that, 
though the blame was laid on some heathen converts lately received, the 
true culprits were Portuguese. Este murio de poncona dada por Chris- 
tianos nuevos [Portugueses poderosos en Goa] porque con poderes de Inqui- 
sidor tratava incorruptamente de la punicion de sus judaismos. 

St. Francis Xa-vier. 

(LVI.) To John III. King of Portugal. 


I believe and trust that your Highness will receive 
minute and distinct information as to what concerns religion 
and the worship and service of our Lord God in these parts of 
Malacca and the Moluccas, from the letters which I send to the 
Society in Europe. I have also sent with them answers to the 
letters which we have here received from you, Sire, whom we 
hold and acknowledge as the chief and the true protector of 
the whole of the Society of Jesus, and one who, by his love 
and benefits towards us, most amply fulfils the duties implied 
in such a title. As to the state of religion and the Christian 
people in India, the pious and religious men who are going from 
these parts to you, with the purpose of advancing the service of 
God, will most fully inform your Highness concerning them. 
Moreover, Father Joam de Villa Conde, a faithful minister of 
God, who has had much experience of what is going on in the 
island of Ceylon, is writing to your Highness concerning them 
certain things which it is of importance that he should tell you, 
and that you should know, for the relief both of your Highness s 
conscience and of his own. These matters he discusses at full 
length, clearly and with the utmost truthfulness, partly in his 
letter addressed to your Highness, partly in documents and 
remarks which he sends with that letter. He has communicated 
all to me. Your Highness would therefore do a thing worthy 
of that wisdom which you show in other matters, if you make 
a right use of information so trustworthy, and give as soon as 
possible any commands that it may seem necessary to issue in 
order to discharge your duty in this regard. Lastly, I believe 
also that my own brethren of the Society, as well as others, 
write regularly to your Highness, and give you particulars and 
minute information of the Christian communities at Cape Co- 
morin, at Goa, and of the others in these countries of India 
which are in daily course of foundation and increase. 

And now for what concerns myself in particular. I have 

Letter to the Kins:. 


thought long and much, I have long deliberated in ray own 
mind whether I should or should not write a letter to your 
Highness to set forth what, as I look round on all that goes 
on here, and give all my most attentive consideration, it seems 
to me ought to be done in order to spread our holy faith widely 
in these parts and establish the same firmly. I felt impelled 
on the one hand to make the attempt by my desire to serve 
God and promote His glory, and on the other hand I was de 
terred from being so bold by my want of hope that the effort 
would be worth the trouble, feeling no confidence that what I 
should propose would ever be carried into effect. And yet I 
seemed to myself not to have the power of keeping silence with 
out neglecting my duty, since it was very evident that it was 
not without some counsel of God that I should have the grace 
of forming these conclusions so decidedly in my mind. Nor 
could I imagine any more probable reason why God should 
have been fain to let me see these things, except in order that 
I might communicate them to your Highness. And yet again 
I felt the fear lest, if I were to lay before you what gives me 
so much anxiety, this letter of mine might perchance accuse 
your Highness before God, and make more severe for you the 
terror and risk of that last judgment of His, by taking away 
from your Highness the excuse of ignorance. 

I pray your Highness to believe how much pain all this has 
caused me. My own inmost conscience bore me witness that 
I looked or desired for nothing here but to wear myself out 
with work, and sacrifice my life itself in bringing about the sal 
vation of souls in these regions of India, so to lessen as far as is 
in my power the weight of that duty which is incumbent on your 
Highness, and, by discharging a part of that obligation which 
has been committed to your charge, make the account of your 
Highness s conscience more easy, and give you greater security 
in that terrible hazard of the final judgment of God. And indeed 
your Highness s great love for our Society well deserves that 
I should wish to do this for your sake, and that I should think 
it well purchased at the cost of any exertion or trouble of my 
own. And to confess the truth, Sire, my mind has been won- 

St. Francis Xavier. 

derfully and very painfully torn and confused by these two- 
heads of anxiety on such contrary grounds ; fearing at one time 
lest I should fail in my own duty, fearing at another that I 
should increase your danger, I was drawn now to one and now 
to the other alternative. But at last I have come to make my 
decision in favour of one, and that one which bade me once 
for all do my duty and relieve my conscience by pouring out 
to your Highness the thoughts which I have so long kept back. 

These, then, are the things which I have discovered from 
experience, long experience on the spot, in these regions of 
India, Malacca and the Moluccas, and which wound my soul 
and kill me with heart sickness. Let your Highness take for 
certain what I say, that in these parts, as elsewhere also, it is 
the general rule for many things to be omitted which it would 
be expedient for the service of God should be done, on account 
of certain rivalries which, though they are masked under an ap 
pearance of what deserves respect, are in truth vicious and hurt 
ful. On account of these, the men who have the management 
of affairs out here are set against one another by secret and 
small causes of offence. One man says, This is my business,, 
and I will not allow another to have the credit of it. Another,, 
on the other hand, says, I don t do this, and so I do not like 
you to do it. Then comes another with a different complaint,, 
I bear the burthen of the day and do the work, while the 
favour and the fruits of it go to others. They get earnest and 
hot in their bickerings, and then each one works and writes for 
his own side, so as to gain his own advancement. Meanwhile 
time is wasted, occasions slip away, and the opportunity for 
promoting the honour of our Lord God is lost. And from just 
the same cause it often happens that occasions are neglected 
which would have brought much honour and great advantage- 
to your Highness interests in India. 

I have been able to think of only one remedy for the evil,, 
and if this remedy were applied, then, unless I am mistaken, 
many in these parts would become Christian, and those Chris 
tians who are now exposed to injustice because they have no 
favour with men in power, would become so dear and such ob- 

Letter to the King. 

jects of care to the magistrates, that no one, whether Portuguese 
or Indian, would dare to molest or plunder them. This remedy 
is, that your Highness signify, either by letters to the Governor 
and Commandants in India, or by word of mouth to those whom 
you send out hither to be at the head of affairs signify to them, 
I say, clearly, and give them certainly to understand that, as to 
the increase of our holy faith, which is the thing which you 
desire above everything, you give that in charge to the Gover 
nor or the local commandant, rather than to the religious per 
sons or to the priests who are in India; that you confide in the 
Governor or the Commandant before every one else; that from 
him you will exact an account of this matter ; that to him you 
will impute the whole that is done in it, good or bad, and will 
repay it to him in reward or in punishment. 

And that this declaration of your Highness might be the less 
liable to be explained away, I for my part should wish that in it 
you should particularly name every one of us who are working 
in these parts, and declare that it is not on any one of us, nor 
on all of us together, that you lay any part of the burthen and 
obligation which weighs upon your conscience, but upon him 
alone who by your authority has the power of Governor or Com 
mandant in any place where there is any occasion of advancing, 
the Christian religion; for that since God has bound your High 
ness by the strictest possible obligation of providing for the 
eternal salvation of the nations who are subject to you, that duty 
ought not to be delegated by your Highness to any but those 
who are the vicars of your own authority in these parts, and 
those who represent in the dignity of the magistracy the person 
of your Highness; and that if you shall find that by the negli 
gence of any one of these persons it has come about that na 
great number have embraced the Christian faith under his go 
vernment in the place confided to him, you will visit on his 
head the chastisement which may otherwise hang over your 
own on account of the neglect of so great an obligation, having 
beforehand given full and clear notice, that you have passed on 
the burthen of the whole of that most important duty, of taking 
care that the souls of the unbelievers who are subject to you be 

io St. Francis Xavier. 

imbued with the Christian faith, to the shoulders of those who 
are your principal officers and ministers in these parts. 

Therefore, Sire, whenever a Governor or Commandant writes 
to your Highness, let him state how the Christian religion goes 
on ; how many, who, what sort of persons, have become be 
lievers from among the heathen; what hope or what means 
there may be of bringing others to the fold. Let him know 
that you will trust nothing but his own letters as to what is re 
ported on these heads, and will not be content with any ac 
counts from any other person whatever on these subjects. And 
if, in the province or place which any one has governed, our holy 
Church shall have been increased during the time of his com 
mand by but a small number of neophytes, while at the same 
time it is certain that great increase may be made at all times 
and everywhere, if only the Commandant desire it, then let 
your Highness seriously, and on your royal honour, declare in 
the diploma in which you institute such persons and confer au 
thority upon them, that you will exact punishment from them 
for such neglect. 

And I should very much wish your Highness to confirm 
this by oath, and openly pledge yourself, calling in solemn 
form upon the Holy Name of God, that any officer of yours 
through whose means it may have come to pass that the faith 
has not been propagated, shall, when he returns to Portugal, 
be fined of all his possessions, all his money and property 
be spent on works of mercy, and he himself be detained for 
many years in chains and severe imprisonment. And that they 
may be tinder no misunderstanding about it, nor flatter them 
selves that your threats will not be executed, I would have 
your Highness give them the clearest possible warning, both that 
most certainly and assuredly you will accept no excuses what 
ever that may be alleged on this matter, and that no way re 
mains to them of avoiding severe punishment and of finding 
favour with your Highness, except that of making as many 
Christians as possible in the places and during the time of their 

Why all this is necessary, Sire, I could prove by many ar- 

Letter to the King. 1 1 

guments from experience, very well indeed known to me. But 
I am unable to dwell on these, that I may not be troublesome 
to your Highness, nor have to relate my own griefs, past and 
present, without any hope of making it worth the labour of 
doing so. I will only say this, that if the Governor or the Com 
mandant, whoever he may be, were firmly convinced in his own 
mind that your Highness had said such things as I have been 
suggesting in perfect truth, and that your Highness would cer 
tainly act as you had declared and sworn that you would; then 
in a single year the whole island of Ceylon, many kings of the 
Malabar coast, and the whole of the peninsula of Comorin, 
length and breadth, would embrace the Christian religion. But as 
long as the Governor and Commandants of your places in India 
are not pressed by that fear of losing their rank and property 
unless they have made many Christians, do not let your High 
ness hope for any great success in the preaching of the Gospel 
in the Indies. And be quite sure that in that case there will 
neither be many who come to baptism, nor will those who have 
come advance much in religion; in short, that there is nothing 
that prevents every living soul in India from acknowledging 
our Lord as God, and of professing His holy doctrine, except 
the fact, that the Governors and Commandants who have neg 
lected to take care of the matter have not been severely pun 
ished by your Highness. 

And I say again that, as I hardly hope that it will ever be 
.so, I am almost inclined to repent having written what I have, 
especially when I think that perhaps your Highness will receive 
a more inexorable judgment at the tribunal of God on account 
of the very fact that I have given you this warning. I know 
not whether at such a time the objection that your Highness 
may perhaps allege, that you are not bound to believe what I 
write, will be admitted ; and I assure your Highness in the most 
perfect sincerity and entire truthfulness, that I would by no 
means have written what I have concerning the Governors or 
Commandants of these parts, if I had been able in any way to 
persuade myself that I could keep these things unsaid without 


St. Francis Xavier. 

I have not yet, Sire, fully made up my mind \vh 
go to Japan ; but a great motive for my inclining tc 
going to that country is added by this fact, that I ai 
without hope that here in India I shall find that tr 
cient support from the officials which is necessary 
increase our holy faith and to preserve the Christi 

I entreat and conjure your Highness, by the ^ 
bear to our Lord God and the burning desire you 
what is pleasing to Him, to grant to your faithful si 
in India, and to me with them, this much of your 
royal favour, as to send hither next year a great mai 
of our Society ; for I assure you, Sire, as a matter < 
est truth, that your royal garrisons in India are i; 
need of preachers, both on account of the Portugues 
in the garrisons and of the newly-converted Christian 
in the towns and villages dependent on them. I 
experience ; and what I have seen and found m; 
me write this. When I was at Malacca and in the 
used to preach twice every Sunday or other hoik 
obliged to do it, because I saw that both the soldi 
people there were in need of being frequently fed wi 
of God. So I used to give instruction from the p 
morning mass to the Portuguese ; in the afternoo 
instruct their boys and girls, their slaves, and the fr 
natives, in discourses that each would understand, go 
the explanation of the heads of Christian doctrine < 
Then on a certain day in the week I used to pre 
chetical sermon on the Articles of the Creed and the 
of Confession and Communion to a congregation c 
the wives of the Portuguese, native, and half-bred. If 
of instruction were kept up vigorously everywhere and 
there would in a few years be a very great and profi 
from it to the service of God. At the same time, 
forts themselves, I used to preach the Christian doi 
to the children of both sexes of the Portuguese, a: 
their men and maid servants, and to the native 

Letter to the King. 13 

and this instruction produced as its fruit at once, that the idola 
trous superstitions and magic incantations which used to be 
frequently practised among those ignorant converts were alto 
gether abandoned. 

I state all this minutely to your Highness, that your own 
wisdom may judge how great need we have of abundance of 
preachers in these parts, and what will follow naturally, that 
you may not forget to provide such an abundance as we want. 
For it is certain that if the great penury of such means of grace 
which is now felt is allowed to go on for the future, not only 
will those who have lately been converted to our holy faith not 
reverence it, but, as a general rule, not even the Portuguese 
themselves will be Christians farther than in name. I am very 
much afraid, Sire, that these desires of mine will not have their 
effect such as I wish them to have, and such as need requires; 
and knowing, as I do, the unhappy lot of India, I can hardly 
bring myself to any certain confidence that she will obtain the 
great good which I desire for her. It seems as if it were her 
natural lot, or rather, I should say, her congenital malady, 
not to be able to bear that any exactness in religion, or any 
excellence in the discharge of the duties of perfect virtue, should 
become a matter of common practice and flourish among the 
generality of her inhabitants. 

On the 1 3th of January of the present year I arrived at 
Cochin from Malacca. There I found the Bishop, to see and 
converse with whom did me very great good, as I observed 
with what great charity he bears very severe bodily exertions, 
visiting one by one the garrison towns that he has in his diocese, 
and going also to see and labour among the Christians of St. 
Thomas. He certainly discharges his duties to the full as be 
comes that true and good pastor of souls which he shows him 
self to be by doing all this. For all these laudable works of 
his he gets exactly that reward from certain men in these parts 
which is the common recompense which the world is in the 
habit of meting out to the Saints. I was very much pleased, 
and indeed filled with a certain reverence, at seeing that holy 
man s patience under the trials to which he was exposed. I 

14 St. Francis Xavicr. 

know well that a rumour is spread abroad in India against him 
by the children of the world who, I believe, will even write to 
your Highness the evil suspicions which they entertain of him 
which most unfoundedly asperses him on account of the death 
of Miguel Vaz. Now in this matter, Sire, I feel that I ought 
to bear this most true and sincere testimony in his favour ; and 
I do so, that I may discharge a very serious duty. I affirm 
that I know for certain (though the way and manner in which 
I came to this knowledge cannot be told or written) I have it, 
I say, as a matter of entirely ascertained fact, that he can with 
no more justice be blamed for that matter than I myself, who 
was, at the time when it happened, in the Moluccas, and at an 
immense distance from this country. 

I pray and beseech your Highness, by all the love you have 
for God, and all the desire you have to please Him, and to 
keep your own conscience pure from all contagion of stain, do 
nothing and order nothing in the matter which may give trouble 
to the good man I speak of; for if your Highness were to 
appear to give credit to this most calumnious falsehood, his 
detractors in India would gain authority and increase in confid 
ence from your so doing. 

Your Highness has appointed Pedro Gonsalvez, the Vicar 
General of Cochin, one of the dignitaries of your chapel royal, 
and has made his nephew one of the pages of honour in your 
palatial court. I count this as a favour done to myself; for the 
great obligations under which he has laid our Society force me 
to do this; so I assure your Highness that I and all of ours are 
particularly bound to you on this account. And this will 
less surprise your Highness, when I tell you that the house of 
the Bishop s Vicar at Cochin is the house of abode of the So 
ciety of Jesus. His goodness to us does not confine itself 
within the limits of any common hospitality or usual offices of 
friendship, but he goes so far in his liberality, that when he has 
spent upon our service whatever he has at hand, he borrows 
from others that he may spend on us still more. I beg your 
Highness, in the name of our whole Society, to order that the 
necessary letters may be sent from Portugal both to him and 

Letter to the King. 15 

to his nephew, in order that their regular pensions may be paid 
them faithfully. Both uncle and nephew are well worthy of this 
favour ; the Bishop s Vicar, because he watches for the eternal 
salvation of the faithful who are your Highness s subjects; and 
his nephew, because he is here serving as a soldier under your 
Highness s flag for his country and the commonwealth. 

And now to end, I make this prayer : May our Lord God 
grant to your Highness to understand most thoroughly and in 
timately, and to put in execution also at once, all that at the 
moment of your death you would rejoice to have done. 
Your Highness s useless servant, 

Cochin, Jan. 20, 1548. FRANCIS. 

We have two other letters of this same date, written to St, 
Ignatius and Simon Rodriguez respectively. The first shows 
the growing anxiety which Francis Xavier now felt about the 
government of the religious under his charge. Before his first 
departure for Malacca he had hardly begun to bear to any 
large extent the burthen of a religious Superior. Now, how 
ever, his subjects were multiplying on his hands ; they were in 
most cases as yet unknown to him, their spheres of labour 
were widely scattered, and he himself could not linger long at 
anyone place without abandoning the great schemes of farther 
apostolical conquests, which were now taking possession of 
his mind. Simon Rodriguez seems, perhaps of necessity, to- 
have sent out labourers from Portugal, many of whom had not 
been long in the Society, and who were as yet hardly formed in 
the perfect spirit of the Institute. We shall now see with what 
exquisite charity and wisdom Francis devoted himself to this 
new work, which his position at the head of the Society in the 
East imposed upon him. His first impulse, we shall see, was to- 
implore Ignatius to send out some one who might be a spiritual 
guide to himself as well as to his brethren. In other respects 
the contents of the two following letters require but little com 

1 6 St. Francis Xavier. 

(LVII.) To the Reverend Father Ignatius of Loyola. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord God Jesus Christ 
always favour and help us ! Amen. 

God knows, my dearest Father, how greatly I long to see 
you in this life as well as in the next, that I may talk over with 
you a number of things which require help and remedy from 
you. No distance of place is an obstacle to obedience. I see 
that there are now many of our Society in these parts, and I see 
also that we are in great need of some good physician for our 
souls ; and so, my best of Fathers, I pray and entreat you by 
our Lord Jesus, to look after us, your children here in India, 
as well as others, and send us some one of very great virtue 
and holiness, whose vigour and zeal may stir up my torpor and 
sluggishness. I am in great hopes, as you understand thor 
oughly, by God s assistance, the state and inclinations of our 
minds, that you will take diligent measures in order that the 
languor in virtue, which has crept over all of us here, may be 
strongly stirred up, and that we may be roused to the study of 

This country wants from our Society nothing more urgently 
than preachers. Among those whom Master Simon has sent 
us there is not one, as far as I can hear, who is a preacher. 
Now the Portuguese out here in India, so strong is their 
friendship and goodwill towards us, desire in a wonderful de 
gree to have some good preachers of our Society; so I conjure 
you, by God and His holy worship, to remember this just and 
pious request of theirs, and send hither some Fathers well fitted 
for that work, who may show the right path of salvation to 
those who have gone astray. Moreover, those of the Society 
whom you are going to send out for the work of carrying the 
Gospel as missionaries among the heathen population must be 
men of such approved goodness as to be able to go either with 
companions or without them wherever the interests of religion 
may call them, as, for instance, to the Moluccas, to China, to 
Japan. The mere description of China and Japan and of their 

Letter to Ignatius. 1 7 

inhabitants, which I enclose with this letter, will let you easily 
see what sort of men such work requires. 

You would hardly believe how eagerly we are looking for 
the Indulgences from the Holy Father, the privilege for the 
high altar of the Church of our College, and the faculties for 
priests to administer the holy chrism instead of the Bishop ; 
about all which I wrote to you in former years. As for the 
Lent, experience has taught me that there is no great need for 
any change to be made in that. The Portuguese inhabit places 
in India so very widely apart, that if the common good of all 
is to be considered, no change need be made. The winter 
season is by no means at the same time throughout all the 
Portuguese cities or towns ; so that, considering what is good 
for all alike, it seems to me best that there should be no new- 
law on the subject, although I see there are a good many who 
differ from me as to this. 

I have not yet made up my mind whether, after a year and 
a half from this, I shall go myself to Japan, with one or two 
others of the Society, or whether I shall send two of ours there _ 
first. I have quite decided either to go or to send others, and 
as things are now, I incline to the plan of going myself. I pray 
God to give me a clear intimation of His will as to what is 
most pleasing to Him. I thought it best to choose one of the 
three of our Society who are gone to the Moluccas to be Supe 
rior of the rest, so I made choice of Joam Beira for the others 
to obey, as if he were yourself. They were very glad of it. I 
think of making the same arrangement as to the Comorin Pro 
montory, and the other places where more than one of ours 
are placed. I beg that you by your own prayers and the prayers 
of those with whom you have influence may obtain the help 
of Heaven for us who are working in these barbarous regions ; 
and that you may do this more earnestly, I pray the Eternal 
God to show you, by a light from Himself, how much need I 
am in of your help and guiding hand. 

Cochin, Jan. 20, 1548. 

1 8 St. Francis Xavier. 

(LVIII.) To Master Simon Rodriguez. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
favour and help us ! Amen. 

I charge you, my dearest brother, for the love which you 
bear to Jesus Christ, to send us hither some preachers of the 
Society ; men of that sort are most urgently wanted in India. 
Of all those whom you have hitherto sent I have seen none 
except Joam Beira, Father Ribero, and Niccolo Nunez the lay 
man, who are in the Moluccas, and Adam Francis, who is here 
at Cochin. I have asked about the others, and people tell me 
that there is no one among them able to preach well. Another 
thing which I entreat you in the name of God is to be careful 
in choosing those whom you think of sending out hither to work 
for the conversion of the heathen. It is necessary that you 
choose men of proved goodness and tried virtue, men who for 
the space of some years have gained many and signal victories 
over themselves. They must also not be men of weak health, 
but strong; for the hard work in India requires not only the 
virtue of the soul but also the strength of the body. The King 
would gain great favour with God if he were to send to India 
as many preachers of our Society as possible, so ignorant and 
uninstructed is the whole race of the Indians. I write this to 
you on the strength of the experience I have now gained of all 
these parts. 

However, if this affair of the propagation of the Christian 
religion among the heathen kingdoms seems to have its great 
difficulties, be careful not on that account to be frightened from 
carrying on the work which has been begun. In sooth, the first 
and greatest difficulty is in ourselves; so I consider that we 
should first take care of our own people, and then attend to the 
heathen. Now I beg you, do all you possibly can, for God s 
sake, that next year we may have some good preachers. I don t 
give you now any account of affairs in India, for it is only a week 
since I arrived from Malacca, and I have as yet not got much 
information about them. What I have found out is of a kind to 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez. 1 9 

make me sorry to know it. Our brethren, I believe, write at 
length to you about all their matters. Those of our Society 
whom you send out for the conversion of the heathen ought to 
be men who can be sent with safety either with companions 
or alone, wherever need may be, either to the Moluccas or to 
China, or to Japan, or to the kingdom of Pegu, or anywhere 
else. Among the people in any one of these places, even 
men who are not of great learning, provided they are endowed 
with remarkable virtue, will be able to do very good service for 

If there is one thing which, for his very numerous and very 
great deserts at the hands of our Society, I should like to have 
the King of Portugal warned about, since it is his business be 
yond all to provide for the salvation first of his own people and 
those of the heathen who are in his dominions, I would desire 
that the King, both for the sake of the service of God and also 
to discharge a religious obligation of his own soul, should place 
in all the towns of India which are occupied by his garrisons 
good preachers, either of our Society or of the Franciscans or 
the Dominicans, who should be free and disengaged from other 
cares, to preach on the Gospel in the forenoon of the Sundays and 
festivals to the Portuguese, and in the afternoon should explain 
the Articles of the Faith to their servants and slave-girls as well 
as to the native converts, and should also once a week preach 
to the wives and children of the Portuguese on the Articles of 
the Creed and the Sacraments of Confession and Communion ; 
for I have learnt by experience how great necessity there is out 
here for this kind of instruction. 

If I thought that the King would not be averse to my most 
faithful and loving counsels, I would give him a most salutary 
bit of advice for a quarter of an hour every day to meditate on 
that divine saying, What doth it profit a man if he gain the 
whole world but lose his own soul ? and to ask God to give him 
a thorough understanding of it, together with a strong interior 
feeling of its truth, and also to make that same sentence, What 
shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and the rest, 
a kind of conclusion to all the prayers that he says. It is time 

20 St. Francis Xavier. 

now to tear away from the King the mistake under which he 
lies ; for the hour is nearer than he thinks, when the King of 
kings and Ruler of rulers is to call him to Himself to give an 
account, with that terrible call Give an account of thy stew 
ardship ! And so do you take care to bring about that he really 
sends out to India what is necessary for the propagation of the 
faith in that country. 

From the experience which I have had, I can see only one 
way and one means for propagating religion in India that the 
King should severely and by an edict declare to all the Gover 
nors of India that he trusts no one in India so much as those 
who with all their might strive to advance the limits of Chris 
tianity; that he orders and commands them to take in hand 
diligently to bring the island of Ceylon to the faith of Christ, 
and to increase the number of converts in the promontory of 
Comorin, and for this purpose to seek the succour of religious 
men everywhere, and to employ the priests of our Society and 
any others whom it may seem good to use for the increase of 
the worship of God. If the Governors should happen to show 
themselves negligent and inactive in this matter, let him strike 
terror into them, and declare by an oath (he will gain great favour 
with God by swearing this, and much more by fulfilling what he 
has sworn), that unless they free his soul from the religious obli 
gation under which he lies, by propagating the Christian religion 
in India as much as possible, he will punish their want of zeal 
as soon as they return to Lisbon by the confiscation of their 
goods for public purposes and by long imprisonment. If the 
King issue such a decree to the Governors, and at the same time 
treat with severity those who do not attend to it, it is certain 
that a very large number will, by the help of God, become 
Christians ; but that otherwise no great progress will be made. 

You have now what I think on the matter. As to other 
things I will say nothing. I only say that if what I ask to be done 
be done, our wretched converts will be defended against in 
justice and plunder, and the other natives will without difficulty 
be brought into the fold of Christ. In the propagation of the 
faith of Christ among them, the work is really a mere mockery 

Revisiting the Para*uas. 1 1 

if the King s or Governor s authority is wanting to support us. 
Believe my word for it, for I have had more than enough ex 
perience in the matter. Why it is so I know well, but I need 
not say. I want to see two things in India ; first, the Gover 
nors bound by the law I speak of, and second, good preachers 
in all the garrison towns of the Portuguese. Both these things 
would wonderfully advance the interests of religion at Goa and 
everywhere else in India. 

May our Lord Jesus protect and keep us continually ! 

Cochin, Jan. 20. 

As soon as Francis had finished these necessary letters, we 
can well understand with what affectionate interest and joy he 
would occupy himself in visiting his beloved Paravas on the 
Fishery Coast. It was now rather more than three years since he 
had left them. In the mean time they had suffered much, both 
from their inveterate enemies the Badages and from the tyranny 
and extortions of the Portuguese ; but they had maintained 
their faith firmly, and shown much Christian fortitude and per 
severance. Lucena 3 describes the joy with which Francis was 
received by his spiritual children ; how, as he went round the 
villages which his watchful care had supplied with churches and 
priests, the people came forth to meet him in procession, 
singing the Christian doctrine as he had taught them, paving his 
pathway with their garments, or raising him on their shoulders 
and carrying him in triumph into the sanctuary. The faith of 
these neophytes had shone out in ways which remind us of the 
history of the primitive Church : some had cast out devils with 
the sign of the Cross, or cured the sick; others had endured tor 
tures rather than deny our Lord ; others had confuted Brahmins 
in dispute, or converted their fellow labourers or companions 
in slavery. 4 They had a great number of churches of their own, 
and were watched over by four Fathers of the Society, with 
three active priests and three lay brothers. Mancias was gone; 

3 yiala, 1. v. cap. 24. 

4 See Lucena, 1. c., and Messei, 1. ii. cap. 13. 

22 St. Francis Xavier. 

but his place was more than supplied by Antonio Criminale,. 
an Italian of the diocese of Parma, a man of consummate vir 
tue ; Alonzo or Alfonso Cipriano, an old Castilian priest ; and 
two others of the name of Enriquez, Francesco and Enrico, 
whether brothers or not we are not told. These two had 
been students in the University of Coimbra. Francesco had 
been won to the Society some three years before the time of 
which we are writing, after a sojourn of Pierre Lefevre in the 
college in that city, during which a great impulse had been 
given to study as well as to piety. Three very distinguished 
men had been admitted to the Society by Pierre Lefevre him 
self, Louis Gonsalvez, Antonio Gomez, and Emmanuel Sa;. 
while as many as twenty others, among whom was Francesco 
Enriquez, already a priest, had made up their minds to the 
same step, though various circumstances had prevented their 
immediate admission. Enrico Enriquez seems to have been 
younger than his namesake. He was rich, as it is recorded of 
him that when he became a religious he distributed a very large 
sum of money to the poor. 5 

After a rapid tour through the several missions, Francis col 
lected his small band of workers at Munahpaud, where they 
spent a fortnight together in a sort of retreat. They were all 
somewhat young in the Society, and Criminale alone among 
them -had been more than a few months at the work among. 

5 Antonio Criminale had reached India in 1545, in the fleet which 
brought Don Joam de Castro as Governor of the Indies in place of Martin. 
Alfonso de Sousa. There were also two other priests, Joam Beira, already- 
mentioned, and Niccolo Lancilotti, an Italian. Beira had gone first to Cape- 
Comorin, and then, summoned by Francis, to Malacca and the Moluccas. 
Lancilotti remained at Goa. The next year no priests seem to have been 
sent; but in 1547 five fathers had arrived the two Enriquez and Cipriano 
named above, Francesco Perez, Manuel de Moraez, and Nunez Ribero. 
Perez remained at Goa, and Nunez Ribero was sent on at once with Beira 
to Malacca, where he met Francis Xavier on his return from the Moluccas, 
as related in the last chapter of the preceding book. His companion Nic 
colo Nunez was not yet a priest. The catalogue of the college of Coimbra 
mentions four others as lay brothers, who sailed with the fathers who arrived 
in 1547. As many as ten of the Society were sent in the year 1548, which 
we have now reached, four of whom were priests. We shall have to speak 
of several of them hereafter. 

Revisiting the Paravas. 23 

the Paravas, a work which, as we have seen, required much 
sagacity, prudence, and temper, as well as great zeal and indus 
try. Francis took great pains to help and support them as 
much as possible. It may be supposed that Mancias had been 
left with some kind of authority over those who had joined or 
were to join him, and his defection left the Fathers of the 
Fishery Coast without any kind of immediate superior. A 
letter of Enrico Enriquez, written late in the year 1548 to St. 
Ignatius, states that they had elected Antonio Criminale, and 
that this choice had been confirmed by Francis. AVe do not 
know whether it had been made before his arrival from the East, 
or whether it was now made at his instigation. After the re 
treat was over, Francis left them a long paper of instructions, 
which is generally included among his letters, and which, on 
that account, we insert here. 

(LIX.) To the Fathers of the Society of Jesus working 
among the Christians of the Comorin Coast. 

The thing which I wish to commend to you above every 
thing else is that you should employ special diligence and 
watchfulness as to the baptism of little children, so as not to 
leave any lately born child not regenerated in the saving laver 
of Christ in any of the villages or farm settlements in which 
you are either at present labouring or shall hereafter have any 
charge. I consider that to be the chief and most salutary of 
all the forms of ministry in which you can be employed in these 
parts, and therefore I would have you never commit it to an 
other, or trust for it to any one but yourselves. Make search 
and inquiry for yourselves, and baptize with your own hands 
all those whom you find in want of that most necessary Sacra 
ment. I know that the royal officers who have authority over 
the natives have received orders, and also that the heads of 
families have been strictly charged to give information, and to 
fetch those who are to administer Baptism as soon as they see 

6 It is certain that St. Ignatius at one time entertained the notion of the 
election of the Superiors of each house by the members of that house. See 
Genelli s Life of St. Ignatius, (Eng. Trans.) p. 210. 

24 St. Francis Xavier. 

their families increased by a new birth. But it is not well to 
rest upon this as a ground of security. The officials will have 
other things to do, and the fathers will forget. Meanwhile, the 
little ones will die without baptism. So you must go yourselves, 
make strict search and inquiry, asking from door to door whe 
ther, since you have been there, any woman has given birth to 
a child, and whether for any cause at all there is to be found 
there a soul which has not yet had the holy water poured 
upon it. You will very seldom make these inquiries without 
fruit. The people will bring you their babies, you must make 
them Christians at once and secure the salvation of their souls, 
which unless you use all this diligence will be in great danger 
of losing eternal happiness. 

Trust my experience ; all, of any moment, that we can do 
among this nation, all that is worth our labour, comes in the 
end to these two kinds of service, baptizing infants, and teach 
ing the children who have any capacity for learning. So I 
would enjoin upon you to look after this second with as much 
diligence as the first, or even greater. I mean, that you take 
all most efficient care that the instruction of children goes on 
without intermission. I mean, that you are to take care that 
this is done by others, for it is quite clear that you cannot do 
it yourselves. You ought not to have a fixed and permanent 
home in any one single village, but to be always free and ready 
to pass to all spots, one after another, and watch over the in 
crease of the Church in these parts by visiting and making a 
circuit over the whole country, which very much needs such 
vigilance. Thus you cannot find time for the attention neces 
sary to the holding of schools everywhere, day after day. So 
you must appoint in each village or station fitting teachers and 
canacapoli, as we have already arranged, and these must as 
semble the children every day at a certain time and place, and 
teach and drive into them the elements of reading and of re 
ligion, and the prayers which all must know by heart. And 
that this may be done with greater exactness, you must never 
omit, whenever in your circuits you visit any particular village, 
to have all the children assembled, and to make them give an 

Rules for the Miss loners. 25 

account, in the presence of their teachers, of what they have 
learnt, so as to put to the proof their diligence as well as that 
of their teachers, taking careful notice how much of the sacred 
prayers each one can recite without fault, and how far each one 
has got in learning and understanding the catechism. And you 
must give out that you will soon come back again to measure 
how far they shall have advanced beyond what they have now 
attained to, in proportion to the interval of time which will have 
elapsed, and that you will judge from that who has been work 
ing hard and who has been idle. The expectation of your 
visit will sharpen the industry both of the teachers and of the 

You must see that on Sundays all the men are assembled 
in the church to recite the prayers, and make particular inquiry 
whether the Patangatins frequent these assemblies. In the places 
where you happen to be on such days, you will yourselves pre 
side at these meetings, and after they have all recited the usual 
prayers from memory, you will shortly and clearly explain what 
they have been saying. Then you will speak against the vices 
which are dominant in the place, showing by clear instances 
and images, such as the ignorant can understand, how foul and 
mischievous they are, and then heaping up threats of the anger 
and vengeance of God, to terrify those who delay to amend 
their lives, and these threats should be not only of that distant 
and future anger of God which will rage against them after this 
life, but of His anger now hanging over them, and all but fall 
ing on them in diseases, plagues, early deaths, persecution 
from the heathen rajahs, who will despoil them, make slaves of 
them, put them to terrible kinds of torture ; of the evils, in short, 
here and now, through which hardened sinners will have to pass 
on their way to the eternal punishment of hell. Make inquiry 
also in every place, whether there are any feuds or hatreds ex 
isting between people living there, and take great pains not 
only that the people are reconciled and lay aside all rancour 
.from their hearts, but that they also make public profession of 
this, in order to do away with the public offence given. So the 
men between whom there has been notorious discord must in 

16 St. Francis Xavier. 

the assembly of the men (which, as I said, is to be held every 
Sunday), and the women likewise in the meeting of the women,, 
which is to be held on Saturdays, must be made by you to call 
all the others there present to witness that they are sorry for the 
wrongs they have done and ask pardon for them ; that they 
wish for the future to forget any that they have received, and 
that they have firmly made up their minds to show all the 
offices of Christian and brotherly charity to those whom before 
they held as enemies and objects of hate. 

As soon as the translation into Malabar of the explanation 
of the Articles of the Faith, which I have charged Father Fran 
cis Coelho to provide, shall be finished, you must take diligent 
care that many copies of it, according to the number of the vil 
lages or hamlets, be written out and dispersed everywhere, and 
that it be read everywhere by some one who has a good voice 
and can be understood by all, to the people collected in their 
regular meetings, the men on Sundays, and the women on Satur 
days. And wherever any one of you may happen to be on Sun 
days, let him add an instruction of his own to what has been 
read, explaining more clearly and distinctly any parts that 
may seem to have been less thoroughly understood by those 
whose minds are not very quick. Moreover, you must see that 
the alms and offerings due from people who have to pay what 
they have vowed after escaping from some danger of disease or 
misfortune, which are usually collected in these assemblies, of 
the men or of the women, be all distributed to the poor, and 
you must not allow even the very smallest particle of them to 
be spent on your own use. 

Take care that it is clearly given out, every Sunday in the 
meeting of the men, and every Saturday in the meeting of the 
women, that as soon as ever any one of any condition soever 
is taken ill in any of their houses, they are at once to let you 
know, that you may be able to bring early help and administer 
all the holy rites which are necessary for providing duly for the 
soul at such a time. And give out, that if any one fails in this 
duty, and so any relation of his or any inmate of his house dies 
without the assistance of the sacraments, then without fail you 

Rules for the Miss loners. 27 

will not permit him when he dies to be buried in the cemetery 
of the church with the sacred service. When you visit the sick, 
you will order that the holy Creed be recited by them if they 
are able, if not, by some one of those present, in their language ; 
and ask the sick man at each article whether he most assuredly 
and most constantly believes what is being said ? Then make 
him say the form of general confession, and the prayers which 
it is usual for all to know by heart, and after this, read the holy 
gospel over them. 

When any one has died, you must go in procession from the 
church to the place where the corpse lies, with the Cross borne 
before you and the children with it, singing, as they go and re 
turn, the prayers which they have learnt in the school of Chris 
tian doctrine ; when the dead body has been brought into the 
church, you will say the prescribed prayers, and again, according 
to custom, before the body is committed to the earth, and you 
must always make something in the way of a short sermon, ap 
propriate to the occasion, to the crowd that is assembled for 
the funeral, admonishing them about the certainty of death, 
the uncertainty of life, how these thoughts ought to make them 
live a life of amendment, and not put off doing penance for 
sins, in which if they are caught by death, they will not be able 
to avoid eternal damnation ; and how, on the other hand, if 
they persevere in the grace of God, they may justly hope, when 
they die, to pass into the joys of Paradise. You must charge 
them the men on the Sundays, and the women on the Satur 
days to bring any sick children there may be to you into the 
church, that you may recite the gospel over them. That will 
have the effect of arousing and strengthening the faith both of 
fathers and mothers, and making them all love the Church 
and her sacred rites ; and besides, it will be of great advantage 
to the life and health of the little creatures themselves. 

Now as to lawsuits and disputes of right, which may spring 
up between the Christians. The first thing you must do is to 
work as gently and forcibly as you may, that both parties should 
talk their differences over together, and make the matter up in 
some fair and good manner between themselves. If there are 

28 St. Francis Xavier. 

any who cannot be induced to do this, and if the matter be not 
of great importance, then on Sundays, after the prayers have 
been said, you will put the affair into the hands of the Patan- 
.gatius, who are the wardens of the church of the place, that they 
may hear both sides, and settle the cause. You must never, 
except as little as possible and on very rare occasions, allow 
yourself to be engaged in taking cognizance of such matters, 
for they would give you less leisure, and take away from the 
authority which is necessary for the discharge of the spiritual 
functions which are proper to our vocation. So, however much 
the contending parties may urge it upon you, offering to be bound 
by your arbitration, and asking you to hear them, excuse your 
selves on the ground of more important duties, and prudently 
decline the expense of time which the hearing would cause you, 
as well as the odiousness of giving a judgment. Send the 
greater disputes to the Portuguese Commandant of that part of 
the country ; or if the people concerned are very much more 
desirous to have a priest as arbiter, refer them in that case to 
Father Antonio Criminale. 

Labour with all your might to gain for yourselves the love 
of the people. You will be far better able to help them if they 
love you than if they fear you. Never order a punishment for 
any one, or inflict one, before you have consulted on the whole 
matter with Father Antonio Criminale, and never, even with 
Jiis consent, order any one to be apprehended or fined accord 
ing to his deserts in any place where there is a Portuguese Com 
mandant, without having informed him of the affair, and brought 
him to your own opinion by laying your reasons before him. 
When a man or woman has been convicted of carving idols, 
the fit punishment to be legally inflicted on such should be ban 
ishment from the place where the fault has been committed, 
and detention in another ; but you must never send any one 
away on such an account without the assent of Father Cri 
minale. When boys who are constant in attendance on cate 
chetical schools deserve punishment, avoid giving it as much 
as may be without impairing discipline, for it is better to seem 
not to know, as you do, that they have done wrong as children 

Rules for the Miss loners. 29. 

of that age will, than by any severity, however just, to rouse in 
their tender minds a feeling of dislike to you. When they have 
taken an aversion to those who are to help and guide them as 
to their salvation, they will rush headlong into all excesses. 
You will generally get such children to be good far more easily 
by showing them a great deal of love than by any severity or 

Take diligent care never to speak hardly of the native Chris 
tians in the presence of the Portuguese ; rather always defend 
them and take up their cause when they are accused, making 
excuses for them and commending them as much as you are 
able. You should ask the Portuguese to consider favourably 
what a bad education these poor creatures who are lately con 
verted from idolatry to Christianity have had from their child 
hood upwards ; how little time they have had free, during the 
short period since they embraced the faith what with the many 
instances of the absence of priests, what with the invasions and 
alarms of invasions of the Badages to give themselves seri 
ously to the receiving the necessary instructions how to behave 
as Christians. Say that, if they take all these things wisely into 
account, not only ought they to be very indulgent in forgiving 
the defects of these uninstructed barbarians, but they may well 
wonder that they are not somewhat worse than they appear to 
be from the faults into which they fall, which are generally not 
of the most grievous kind. 

You will be very kind to the Malabar priests, and provide 
for their good with all consideration, especially in matters be 
longing to religion, taking care that they accustom themselves 
to go regularly to confession, that they offer the holy sacrifice 
with all propriety and very often, and that they set a right ex 
ample of holy living to the people. And when you have had 
to complain of them, or to reprehend them if they have been 
guilty in any way, especially take great care that no vestige of 
this which can be shown to others remain, especially in any 
letters which you may write to any one. 

You must endeavour to gain the friendship of the Portu 
guese Commandant, showing him all observance and courtesy, 

30 St. Francis Xavier. 

and avoid any unfriendliness with him on any account whatso 
ever. Take the same pains in endeavouring to keep the good 
favour of all the Portuguese who are settled in these parts, 
showing no aversion to any one, and letting no one hate you, 
but rather endeavouring by all kindness, prudence, and true 
charity to be men of peace, even with those who hate peace. 
And if any of them are disposed of themselves to draw back 
from you, still keep a hold of them by offices of kindness and 
good will, so that even against their will they may come to feel 
and allow themselves to be loved by you, and so be afraid to 
let any difference they may have with you break out into an 
open rupture. At the same time, this does not mean that you 
are right to connive at the unjust oppression with which they 
may sometimes persecute the Christians. When you see any 
thing of the kind, then by all means rebuke them, but do it 
gently and with every sign of love. If you make no way in this 
manner, then carry your complaint to the Commandant, and 
defend the right of the innocent victims of oppression with 
modesty, and as far as may be without losing your friendship 
with those against whom you plead. For the Commandant, I 
once more admonish you, on account of the importance of the 
matter, keep him at peace and well disposed with you at what 
soever cost, and let nothing be too much for you to be willing 
to sacrifice for the sake of avoiding the giving him offence and 
of retaining his goodwill. 

Let your conversation with the Portuguese be always about 
sacred things, such as relate to the salvation of souls and to 
advancement in virtue. Speak to them in private as well as in 
public about Death, Judgment, the punishments of Hell and 
of Purgatory, urging them to frequent the sacraments of Pen 
ance and Communion, and to keep the Ten Commandments 
of God s law and all other things of that kind ; for if in your 
dealings with them you never turn aside to other topics of con 
versation, one of two things will happen : either when they 
come to you they will enter on talk of the same sort and this 
will do them very great good or if they get tired of so much 
sad and serious conversation, they will leave off coming to see 

Rules for the Missioners. 31 

you, and leave you free for many good hours of time which are 
much needed for the urgent occupations of the manifold duties 
which you have to discharge. 

Remember, when occasions offer themselves, to write to the 
fathers and brothers of our Society at Goa, telling them what 
may give them consolation and animate them to good deeds, 
concerning the fruits of your ministry and the issue of your en 
deavours for the glory of God. You must write also to the same 
effect to his lordship the Bishop, with all submission and rever 
ence as to the prelate to whose authority and jurisdiction all 
these parts are subject. You must not go into any country or 
province, however much you may be urged by the rajahs and 
princes thereof, without the assent of Father Antonio Criminal e 
and the Portuguese Commandant of the coast. If any of the 
rajahs invite you with extreme urgency, you must plead to them 
the obedience which you profess, making that your excuse, and 
urging that it renders it unlawful for you, without the command 
of your superiors, to leave the station at which you are placed. 
I once more admonish you, renewing my recommendation over 
and over again, to endeavour, wherever and with whomsoever 
you have to work, to make yourselves pleasing and amiable to 
men of all sorts, obliging all, and doing service to all and each, 
.and never addressing any one except gently and modestly. This 
practical kindness, seasoned by courtesy of language, will win 
for you the love of all and open their hearts to you, and so 
afford you a great facility in gathering very glorious fruit of 
souls. May God grant you that blessing, and may He ever be 
with you all ! Amen. 

Yours wholly, 

February 1548. FRANCIS. 

When the circumstances of the case are considered, there 
is little to surprise us in the strong statement which occurs near 
the beginning of this letter, that the only kinds of ministry which 
were likely to be profitable in that country were the baptizing 
of infants and the instruction of children. It was not that 
Francis despaired of the adult population, which had just wel 
comed him so joyously and gratefully, and many members of 

32 St. Francis Xavier. 

which had during his absence given very remarkable proofs of 
the soundness and stability of their faith. But in any commu 
nity, even in countries which have for centuries been Christian, 
the hope and security of the future lies in the young. A large 
portion of the human race dies in infancy; and thus the bap 
tism of infants, so many of whom are never to grow to man s 
estate, is and has always been in effect one of the chief means 
by which the Church has peopled heaven through the merits 
of our crucified Lord, and its importance for the future glory 
of God is marked by the peculiar malignity with which the 
powers of evil in the world have always exerted themselves in 
so many various ways to hinder and prevent it. Again, the 
adults in the population were exposed to so many difficulties, 
both as to procuring instruction in the faith and as to the 
practice of the Christian law partly from old habit and asso 
ciations, partly from the influence of the luxurious and sensual 
paganism all around them, and, not least, from the scandal 
given to them by those who bore the name of Christian, as well 
as from the persecution, whether from heathens or Europeans, 
to which they were themselves exposed that their want of a 
Christian training from their early years must have made their 
hold on the faith very precarious. In Christian countries the 
adult population is seldom sound unless it has been well and 
religiously educated ; and here again we can trace the instinc 
tive malice of the powers of evil in their resolute and unceasing 
efforts either to get hold of education for their own emissaries 
or to snatch it out of the hands of the Church. On the other 
hand, if the children were thoroughly grounded in the know 
ledge of Christian doctrine and the use of Christian sacraments, 
not even all the disadvantages of the position of the native 
Christians in India would be able to turn them from the observ 
ance of the law of God. When Francis Xavier wrote, he had 
but little prospect of seeing the field on which he had bestowed 
so much labour cultivated by a numerous and intelligent body 
of priests; and so long as the evangelical workers remained few 
in numbers, able only occasionally to visit place after place 
among the settlements without fixing themselves anywhere, the 

Revisiting the Para*uas. 

full development of the Christian life in all its manifold and 
beautiful variety and profusion, could not be expected. 

One other passage in the foregoing letter deserves a word 
of comment, as we might otherwise fail to understand the care 
ful provision made by Francis Xavier for the progress of the 
mission. The explanation of the Articles of the Faith, which 
he mentions as about to be translated into the Malabar tongue, 
was probably that long commentary on the Creed which has 
been printed in the preceding volume. 7 If the text of the let 
ter above is correct, we gather from it that this translation was 
committed to Father Francis Coelho, one of the native priests 
who were still labouring with those of the Society in the mis 
sion. At the same time we are told that Francis gave a special 
commission to Father Francesco Enriquez to make a perfect 
grammar and vocabulary of the Malabar tongue, and thus at 
once to elevate, fix, and preserve it, and make it more useful as 
a means of communication among the tribes of different dialects, 
the tendency of which is to continual change and decay, and so 
to the isolation of one petty community from another. Father 
Enriquez obeyed, and within six months he had completely 
mastered the language, cast it into form, and arranged its voca 
bulary, and his facility in writing and speaking it had become 
a marvel to the natives themselves. 

From Munahpaud Francis appears to have passed into Cey 
lon, where the interests of religion seem to have been in a cri 
tical state, the particular circumstances of which it is difficult 
to understand without more clear statements than have come 
down to us. The Cingalese princes mentioned in a former 
chapter seem to have been baptized at Goa, and installed in 
their kingdoms by the present governor, Don Joam de Castro; 
and either in consequence of their conversion or from other 
causes the Franciscans had sent a small band of missionaries 
into the island. Several places on the coast were occupied by 
these missionaries. 8 In the interior the King of Candy, who 
Notes to Book II. p. 321. 

M-J ^T l 7 - S ^ , As ^f artlt S^ t t. ii. p. 2, cap. 4, mentions Panature, 
Macu, Berberii, Galle, Beligam, all on the coast. 


34 St. Francis Xavier. 

is supposed by Lucena to have succeeded to the Christian 
prince, was well disposed to the faith, and only kept back from 
embracing it by the fear of a revolt among his subjects. He 
was thinking of putting himself under the protection of the Por 
tuguese when Francis arrived, 10 and was received by him with 
extraordinary honours. The issue of his visit was that an em 
bassy was prepared, which was to offer to the Governor of the 
Indies the alliance of the King of Candy, who demanded a 
strong garrison of Portuguese soldiers to secure him on his 
throne, and who was ready to become a Christian and pay tri 
bute to the King of Portugal. Other accounts state that the 
Rajah of Jafanapatam himself was touched by the remon 
strances of Francis, and promised to become Christian if the 
Portuguese would accept his alliance. It appears certain that 
it was in company with an embassy from one or other of these 
rajahs that Francis left the south of India about the end of 
February or the beginning of March, in order to seek the Go 
vernor of the Indies at Goa. He arrived at that city on March 
2oth, but found Joam de Castro absent. 

9 Lib. v. c. 26. 

10 When St. Francis arrived at Galle a Portuguese of the name of Mi 
guel Fernandez was dangerously ill. Francis visited him, confessed him, 
and promised to say mass for him. After the mass was finished Miguel 
became perfectly well, and gave testimony to the fact when the processes 
were made. 

Francis and Don Joam de Castro. 

THE Governor of the Indies, Don Joam de Castro, has already 
been more than once mentioned as a gallant and even heroic 
officer, and one whose brief period of authority had been sig 
nalized by great exploits and brilliant victories. The Portu 
guese historian of the Indies pauses before he passes on from 
his account of Don Joam s government to give us some cha 
racteristic notes concerning him. He was now in the prime of 
life, in his forty-eighth year. He was the son of a high officer 
of the Crown, and his mother was the daughter of one of the 
chief nobles of Portugal. When quite young, Joam had served 
in Tangier ; and on returning home had received from the King 
an encomienda of five hundred crowns a year, which was his prin 
cipal fortune for the rest of his life. Later on, he served under 
Charles V. in the expedition against Tunis, at which time he 
refused his share of some money distributed by the emperor to 
the Portuguese officers, saying that he served the King of Por 
tugal, and looked to him for his reward. Another time he was 
in command of a Portuguese squadron sent to co-operate with 
some Spanish force for the relief of Ceuta. On the approach of 
the Moorish fleet, the Spaniards were for retiring, with the ob 
ject, real or alleged, of concerting their measures ; but Don 
Joam de Castro refused to stir, and the Moors, thinking the 
allied fleets were still united, withdrew themselves, leaving him 
the honour of having driven them off. Don Joam sailed to 
India in 1528 as captain of a ship in the fleet of Don Garcia 
<le Norona, who was going out as Viceroy. The King, who 
seems to have known his gallantry, offered Joam a grant of the 
captainship ofOrmuz and a pension of a thousand ducats a 
year till he came into possession of the post. But he declined 

3 6 St. Francis Xa-vier. 

the position, saying he had not yet deserved such promotion,, 
accepting at the same time the pension on account of his great 
poverty, and begging the King to remember him for the cap 
taincy when he should have earned it. Norona died in two 
years, and was succeeded by Estevan de Gama, the son of 
Vasco, and the immediate predecessor of Martin Alfonso de 
Sousa, as Governor of India. One of Estevan s expeditions took 
him up the Red Sea to Suez, on which occasion he went up to 
the famous monastery of St. Catharine on Mount Sinai, and 
knighted several of his followers, one of whom was Don Alvaro, 
son of Joam de Castro, who was also of the party. Joam seems 
to have returned to Portugal after the end of Estevan s govern 
ment and there the Infante Don Luis recommended him to 
King John as governor of India after Martin Alfonso. He was 
a man of letters as well as of arms, a classical scholar, and a 
good mathematician. When on the Red Sea, he got divers to 
go to the bottom for the sake of finding out what it is that gives 
its colour to the water, as Faria y Sousa tells us. He adds 
that Don Joam wrote .a paper to prove that the water was red 
on account of the coral at the bottom, which opinion he himself 
combats, on the ground that coral is green until it comes up to 
the air, which hardens it and renders it red. 1 The same writer 
speaks highly of Don Joam s modesty as a governor, his con 
descension, and his integrity. Before sailing for India, he 
chanced to see a very fine suit of clothes in a tailor s shop, and 
was told that it had been ordered by one of his own sons, who 
was to sail with him. He took the tailor s scissors, and cut the 
suit into small pieces, telling the man to bid the youth who had 
ordered it provide himself with arms, and arms, and more arms. 
If this anecdote was characteristic of the man, his govern 
ment of India was quite in keeping with his character. He 
was always at war, and frequently exposing himself, even to 
rashness. We have already mentioned his great exploit of the 
relief of Diu and the defeat of the besiegers in November 1546. 
He had received the news of the severe wound of his son Don 
Alvaro who had been knighted on Mount Sinai, and was per- 
1 Asia Portuguese!, t. ii. p. 2, cap. 5. 

Don yoam de Castro. 37 

haps the young man who had ordered the fine suit of clothes in 
Lisbon with heroic composure, going in procession to give 
thanks to God that Diu was still in the possession of the Por 
tuguese. After his victory at Diu, he dispatched a messenger 
with the news to Goa, desiring, says Faria y Sousa, the city to 
lend him twenty thousand pardams for the use of the army, send 
ing a lock of his whiskers in pawn for the money. The city 
returned the pawn with respect, and sent him more money than 
he demanded, and the women their pendants, necklaces, brace 
lets, and other jewels. All was restored as it was sent, for the 
immediate need of the Governor had been already supplied by 
the capture of a rich ship ofCambaia, taken by Antonio Moniz 
Barreto on the coast of Mangalore. Brave and simple as 
he was, Don Joam was not free from the love of display, which 
may have been somewhat of a national failing. His arrival at 
Goa after the victory of Diu was splendidly celebrated. He 
was received with loud acclamations, and a splendid triumph 
prepared by the city, in imitation of those of Rome. The city 
gates and streets were hung with silk, the windows thronged 
with fine women ; all places resounded with music and noise 
of cannon, and the sea was covered with vessels richly adorned. 
The Governor entered under a rich canopy, where, taking off 
his cap, they put on his head a crown of laurel, and a branch 
of it in his hand. Before him went the priest with the crucifix, 
as he carried it in the fight, and next to him the royal standard. 
Then Juzarcan (the Mussulman commander), his eyes fixed on 
the ground, perhaps that he might not see his prince s colours 
dragged and ours flying, and between them six hundred prisoners 
in chains. The remainder of the procession was made up of 
various pieces of artillery, and other sorts of arms placed in 
cars, forming most beautiful trophies. The Governor walked 
over leaves of gold and silver and rich silks, which their makers 
-or owners had spread out before him. The ladies, each one 
for that day taking the part of Aurora, bedewed him from their 
balconies with fragrant waters and scattered flowers on him. 
The description detains us long, concludes the grim and curt 
annalist whom we are quoting; and he sums up and con- 

38 St. Francis Xavier. 

eludes the whole by a saying of our manlike queen, Dona Cata- 
lina, who, when the victory and triumph were related to her, 
said : In short, Don Joam conquered like a Christian, and 
triumphed like a heathen. 2 

When Francis Xavier arrived at Goa, with the envoy of the 
King of Candy, of whom mention has already been made, Don 
Joam de Castro was at Bazain, some way to the north along the 
coast, engaged in military preparations and enterprises. The 
north-western coasts of India had been the scene of his opera 
tions in the year which had followed the relief of Diu, and he 
was soon to be engaged in organizing an expedition of which 
Aden w T as the object. It would appear that there was some 
reason to fear that the Governor was not disposed to take active 
measures for the simple furtherance of religion, or at least 
that influential members of the Council were likely to oppose 
such measures. The letter of the King of Portugal to the Go 
vernor, written after the complaints made by Miguel Vaz and 
Francis Xavier, though not strong enough to force an actively 
christianizing policy upon the Indian officials, was strong 
enough to rouse their enmity against the advocates of such a 
policy. There had already been occasions on which voices had 
been raised in the Council, saying that it did not much matter 
whether the Indian princes in alliance with the crown of Portu 
gal became Christian or remained heathen. The Rajah of 
Tanore had sought baptism, and the Council, as we gather 
from Lucena, had refused to take his part in the quarrels with 
neighbouring princes which ensued. The Governor himself 
had his hands full enough of warlike undertakings, and he was 
supposed not to favour the college of Santa Fe. It was neces 
sary therefore for Francis Xavief to try the effect of a personal 
interview with Don Joam in the matter of the Rajah or King 
of Candy, whose cause he had espoused. Francis accordingly 
made a rapid excursion to Bazain, and was able at once to bring 
the Governor over to his own wishes. Antonio Moniz Barreto, 
already mentioned, one of the most dashing officers among the 

2 Faria y Sousa, Asia Portngncsci, t. ii. p. z, cap. 3. 

3 See Lucena, Vtda, 1. vi. c. 2, 3. 

Don yoam de Castro. 39 

Portuguese, was sent with two hundred men to garrison Candy 
and protect the Rajah. The issue of the enterprize, however, 
was unfortunate, on account of the treachery and inconstancy 
of the Cingalese prince. He was persuaded by another rajah 
that the Portuguese would seize his kingdom as soon as he 
declared himself a Christian, and he determined, in consequence, 
to massacre his new allies as soon as they arrived. Barreto had 
already landed, and was on his march inland, when he was in 
formed of this treacherous design. It was dangerous to recede 
directly, so he made his men burn all their superfluous baggage, 
and then fought his way on bravely for three days, against a 
force of eight thousand men, till he arrived at a friendly terri 
tory without any loss. 

Francis Xavier returned almost immediately to Goa, reach 
ing that city early in April. His short visit to Bazain was not 
without its victory of apostolical zeal. His biographers tell us 
that he fell in there with a Portuguese noble, Rodrigo Secheira 
by name, whom, when in Malacca, he had found in the hos 
pital, hiding himself in order to escape the hands of justice on 
account of a great crime which he had committed. It was 
probably a homicide, as Francis made his peace for him with 
his enemies, and also reconciled him to God by a general con 
fession of his sins. But he exacted of him a promise to return 
to Europe. Secheira went as far as Goa on his way, and was 
there offered a lucrative post under the government at Bazain. 
He yielded to the temptation, and was soon immersed in his 
former vices. When Francis met him in a public place at Ba 
zain, he had not been to confession for two years. Secheira 
came up to Francis with a smile on his face and an open hand, 
thinking to brave the matter off. Francis could be stern when 
he thought fit, and drew back as in horror. What, my son, 
he cried, are you still in India ? Is this the way you have 
kept your promise to God and to me ? And when Secheira 
began to excuse himself, he told him that whatever might be 
said about his not having returned to Europe, his having kept 
away from confession was inexcusable, and he could not have 
him for his friend as long as he was at enmity with God. Se- 

40 St. Francis Xavier. 

cheira was at once overcome, made his confession, and began 
a new mode of life under the direction of Francis. 4 

Joam de Castro was so charmed with Francis Xavier, that 
he exacted of him what was in some respects a considerable 
sacrifice, a promise to remain some months at Goa to assist him 
in regulating the affairs of his soul. It appears that the Go 
vernor returned to Goa about the same time with Francis. He 
seems already to have felt the approach of death, which was 
very soon to carry him off. He had already suffered from fever, 
and was also harassed by the misconduct or imprudence of some 
of his officers and soldiers. Aden, then as now a place of very 
great importance for any maritime power in the East, had been 
taken from the Turks by the petty Prince of Caxem, who, in 
fear of the common enemy, had put himself under the protec 
tion of the King of Portugal. There was a hope of a triumph 
more substantial even than that of Diu, but Aden was lost to 
the Portuguese by the timidity of Don Payo de Norona, who 
was sent from Ormuz to help the new ally. Norona was afraid 
of treachery, and retired to his vessel on the approach of a 
Turkish army, which took the place and put the prince to 
death. The Governor had sent his son, Don Alvaro, with a 
considerable force to assist him, but he arrived too late. An 
other object of the expedition was to eject the Turks from a 
fort which they had seized near Caxem itself, and here the Por 
tuguese made the mistake, against the express will of their com 
mander, Don Alvaro, of refusing all terms to the garrison, which 
was ready to treat, and even of detaining the envoys sent to 
make the proposals for surrender. The consequence was that 
the besieged made so desperate a resistance, that the fort was 
only taken at so great a loss of men to the Portuguese as to 
make their victory almost equivalent to a defeat. 5 

4 He seems to have returned with him to Goa, and to have staid some 
time in the college with him, as it is of him that the story is told how he 
watched Francis during the night through a chink of the door, of his room, 
and saw him spend the greater part of the time on his knees before a cruci 
fix, after which he took a short sleep with his head on a stone, and then 
rose up to recite his office and say mass. 

5 Faria y Sousa, t. ii. p. 2, cap. 5, says that they killed five hundred 
men ; but the number seems exaggerated. 

A Conversion. 41 

This expedition to Aden is memorable in the life of Francis 
Xavier as having afforded him an opportunity of a conquest 
more truly glorious than that at which Don Alvaro aimed. It 
was on this occasion that he embarked on board one of the 
ships of the squadron without giving notice to any one, and 
with no other provision for the voyage than the breviary under 
his arm. He had made acquaintance in Goa with one of the 
class for whom he had so special a predilection a rude rough 
soldier, of scandalous life, insolent temper, with the habits of 
almost every imaginable sin engrained, as it seemed, in his 
very nature, whose very language was so laden with blasphemies 
as to offend all who came across him. He had not been to the 
sacraments for eighteen years. Francis had poured forth num 
berless prayers for this poor sinner, had wept and done penance 
before God for his conversion. When the fleet was to sail he 
asked him to which ship he was to belong, and then, without 
more ado, took him by the arm, said how glad he was to find 
they were to be companions, and embarked along with him. 
Companions, indeed, they were, almost always chatting together 
and eating at the same mess. The soldier gamed as usual, and 
Francis stood by, always rejoicing over his successes and full 
of sorrow when he was unlucky. When the poor fellow broke 
out into blasphemies and indecent language, Francis seemed 
not to hear. The men were amazed at seeing his zeal so en 
tirely kept under. It seemed as if the soldier had fascinated 
him. At last Francis took an opportunity to ask him in con 
fidence how long it was since he had been to confession. The 
soldier coloured and sighed. His heart was already won. It 
was eighteen years, he said, since he had confessed, but the 
fault was not all his own. He had been to the Vicar-General 
-of Goa to get rid of his sins, but the good priest had been so 
shocked at the tale which he heard, that he sent him away as if 
his soul could not hope for any share in divine grace. Francis 
took the Side of the soldier. He said that great charity should 
be used to sinners, for whom our Blessed Redeemer had shed 
His blood, and that each one had his own burthen to bear, and 
so should be compassionate to others. At all events, he would 

42 St. Francis Xavicr. 

make no difficulty himself as to giving his friend all the com 
fort in his power. If he had all the sins of the world on his 
conscience he would hear his confession willingly. He had 
full power to absolve him, and as for his penance, they would 
divide it between them, and the soldier should take as much 
of it as he liked for himself and no more. God in His infinite 
goodness desired his salvation, and asked of him nothing but 
a sincere repentance for having offended One Who loved him 
so much. The soldier was overcome, and begged Francis to 
help him in his confession. The fleet just then touched at some 
place on the coast, and several of those on board went ashore 
for a few hours. Francis and the soldier went into a grove near 
the beach, and were followed at a distance by some of the crew, 
curious to see what would happen. Francis sat down under a 
tree, and the soldier made his confession with many tears and 
sobs, striking his breast and giving every sign of sincere sorrow. 
After a time they were seen to part. Francis went farther into 
the wood, and after a time was followed by the soldier. It 
turned out that he had set his friend the light penance of a 
single Pater and Are, but that he had withdrawn in order to- 
bare his own shoulders, which he then began to scourge vio 
lently with an iron discipline, until the blood ran down freely. 
The soldier heard the noise, and ran after him ; then, baring his 
own shoulders, he began himself to do penance for his sins, ming 
ling his blood, says the historian, with that of the Saint. After 
this, the two friends parted, Francis, to return to Goa, the sol 
dier to fight under Don Alvaro, but not before he had received 
a number of rules for his future conduct from his friend, which 
he faithfully observed. On returning from Aden he became a 
religious, and was considered a model of penitence. 6 

The following letter the only letter remaining to us of this 
spring and summer, the greater part of which was spent at 

See Massei, lib. ii. c. 14, p. 23 seq. Bartoli, Asia, lib. ii. p. 157. 
Lucena, lib. vi. c. 3. Conversions of this sort occur so frequently in the 
narratives of the life of St. Francis Xavier, that some readers may be tempted 
to think that they are various versions of the same anecdote. It must be 
remembered, however, that the occasions for such examples of charity must 
have been very frequent in his life. He spent a great part of his time on 

Diego Pcrclra. 43 

Goa introduces us to a friend of Francis Xavier, of whom we 
shall hear a good deal more in connection with the last great 
enterprise of his active life, the project of evangelizing China. 
Diego Pereira was probably about to sail from Cochin for 
Malacca and China, and Francis had intended to return to the 
Comorin coast if he had not been asked by Don Joam to re 
main at Goa. The Francesco Perez mentioned in the letter was 
one of the Fathers who had lately arrived from Portugal. He 
had been a student at Coimbra, who, four years before this time 
had been won to the Society, along with many others of the 
University, by the preaching of Francis Strada. His com 
panion s name was Rocco Oliveira. We know nothing of his 
antecedents ; but he appears to have come from Portugal with 
Perez and the rest in 1547. He turned out an excellent teacher 
at Malacca. They arrived there on the 28th of May, and Oliveira 
opened his school on the very day after their arrival. He had 
soon nearly 200 scholars. Perez also laboured with great success 
in the pulpit and confessional. Among other good works of his 
Lucena mentions the conversion of another Jew Rabbi, who 
had been born and bred in Rome itself, and had resisted all 
the influences of the Holy City. 

shipboard, and he could hardly ever find himself on board a Portuguese ship 
without meeting several men such as the soldier described in the anecdote ; 
and it is less probable that the various stories of such conversions should 
be repetitions of one and the same history, than that there should have 
been scores of instances of the same charity on his part of which we have 
heard nothing. For this reason it seems better not to depart from the state 
ments made by writers like those quoted above, who had seen the docu 
ments on which the processes were founded. An anecdote very similar to 
that given above is related in the Rdatio to which we have often referred, 
on the authority of a Portuguese soldier named Figueira, who was a com 
rade of the man converted. But in that case the number of years since he 
had been at confession is given as seven or more. Cochin is the place 
at which the vessel touched, and his confession was heard in a church 
which is named. Bartoli mentions a certain Leti as the witness in the 
case before us, the circumstances of which he gives as they are given above, 
and makes Cochin the place. Lucena names no place,* but seems to think 
that the embarcation was from Bazain. 

44 St. Francis Xavier. 

(LX.) To Diego Pereira. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

It would have been much more what I wish if I could have 
seen you before your departure for China, instead of having to 
write to you at a distance; but the Governor has desired me to 
come hither to Goa, and I am obliged to do as he wishes. I 
had a plan of visiting my brethren of the Society on the Co- 
morin Promontory. It would indeed have been a joy to me if 
it had been allowed me to talk over with so true and faithful a 
friend as you a good many things which relate to my voyage to 
Japan which I hope to undertake in a year s time from this. I 
have heard from good authority that a rich harvest of souls can 
be reaped in those parts, and the Christian faith propagated far 
and wide. And now I charge you for the sake of the friendship 
between us to provide yourself before you go to China with a 
certain ware which is of infinite value, but which the merchants 
who go to Malacca and China generally don t seem to care for. 
The ware I mean is a good conscience, a thing which men of 
that sort know very little about. The merchants appear to per 
suade themselves that it will be all over with their fortune alto 
gether if they look to the affairs of their souls and of their 

Nevertheless I have good confidence that, by the assistance 
of God, my very dear friend Diego Pereira will take with him 
a very large supply of this merchandize of a good conscience, 
and that he will gain great riches thereby, though the rest of the 
merchants by their neglect of these things will be reduced to 
indigence. I shall certainly never leave off praying God to guide 
you in safety to China, to bring you back to us in safety and 
much increased and enriched in all the good things of the soul, 
far more than in those of worldly wealth. I am sending from 
this to Malacca two of our Society, one whose name is Francesco 
Perez, a priest who is to devote himself, according to my me 
thod, to preaching, hearing confessions, and instructing the chil 
dren and the ignorant ; and another who is not yet a priest, and 

A Time of Rest. 45 

who is to teach the children of the Portuguese to read, so that 
they may in future read pious and holy books rather than those 
law reports which circulate at Malacca, the reading of which 
makes the children Malacensians instead of Portuguese. May 
our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, as I wish Him to be with 

Goa, April 2. FRANCIS. 

The last sentence of this letter is somewhat obscure, but it 
appears to mean that the children had hitherto had nothing to 
learn to read from except the public reports of the law courts, 
which no doubt had enough to occupy them in a great mart 
like Malacca frequented by merchants of so many different 
nations. Oliveira was to teach the children to read out of 
translations of the Lives of the Saints, or other good books, so 
that their young minds might not be filled with the quibbles 
and chicanery of men who were striving with all their might to 
overreach each other. 

This summer of 1548 was a time of unusual repose in the 
life of Francis Xavier. The request of Don Joam de Castro 
that he would remain some months at Goa was equivalent to 
a command, and he was thus prevented from returning at once 
to his brethren who were labouring on the Fishery Coast. We 
are not even told that he occupied himself at Goa in any ex 
traordinary work of preaching or catechizing, though we may 
be sure that he was not inactive in the confessional. We find 
pauses like this, of far longer duration, in the life of the great 
Apostle of the Gentiles, when God in His Providence seems to 
have withdrawn him for months together from the exercise of 
his active ministry, in order that he might rest and occupy 
himself in meditation, prayer, and contemplation. Even at 
such times, as when in prison at Cresarasa or at Rome, St. Paul 
could not fail to make himself felt in his influence on his neigh 
bours, or in his letters to distant churches, several of which, 
with a tender and glowing character of their own, were written 
in his captivity. Nor can we suppose that with Francis Xavier 
his period of rest was more than comparatively unoccupied. 
As the true test of holy activity is the gladness and readiness 

46 St. Francis Xavier. 

with which it falls back, when God so wills, upon the better 
portion of Mary sitting at the feet of our Lord, so also in 
apostolical men, their times of contemplation and close com 
munion with God are the seedtimes and stages of preparation 
for future labours. In them these holy men seek out and have 
revealed to them the particular purposes of God for their more 
immediate future, and they store and strengthen themselves 
with the light and grace which are to guide and to sustain them 
in new enterprises for the glory of God, Who at such times is 
wont to overwhelm them with heavenly sweetness so as to grant 
them almost a foretaste of the joys of Paradise. 

To these summer months belong a number of anecdotes of 
Francis Xavier which became current in Goa, and which have 
in many cases found their way into the Processes made for his 
canonization. He lived as retired a life as he could, spending 
great part of his days and nights in prayer, which he usually 
made in a coretto , or small tribune adjoining the church, 
from which he could see the altar of the Blessed Sacrament. 
His eyes were often inflamed with tears or seemed to glance 
fire; his face was all aglow, sometimes he scarcely knew where 
he was or what he was doing, or to feel heat or cold in the 
intensity of his concentration upon God. Often he would open 
his robe and bare his breast to the air, or pour cold water upon 
it, as if he felt an insupportable fire within, and he was heard 
to cry out in the garden of the college, where he would pace up 
and down, No more, O Lord, no more ! At other times he 
was seen gently raised in the air, and his face seemed to send 
forth rays of light. He was wont out of devotion to the Blessed 
Sacrament to administer Holy Communion upon his knees in 
stead of standing, and once he was seen to float in this attitude 
along the rail to give the sacred particles to the people. It is 
to this time that the story belongs, which tells how Francis was 
wont to hide himself in a corner of the campanile of the church, 
that he might make his prayer more secretly and out of reach 
of interruption, and how when, on a certain day, he had an 
appointment at a fixed hour at the Governor s palace, and had 
told a lad of the college to come and call him, the youth found 

A Time of Rest. 47 

him so entranced that, hour after hour, he came back to endea 
vour in vain to arouse him, until it was four in the afternoon 
before he succeeded in making him understand what he had to 
do. When the two went out at last on their errand, Francis 
roamed about here and there, unable to withdraw himself from 
the thought of God which so overpowered him, until at last he 
was forced to say, My son, let us go back, and visit the palace 
another day, for it is clear that God will have the whole of this 
day to Himself. Another time he was crossing a piazza so ab 
sorbed in heavenly contemplation that he did not perceive a 
wild elephant running loose upon him, nor hear the shouts of 
the people who were warning him of the danger, which was only 
avoided by the sudden turn of the animal in another direction. 
Other wonders of a more usual kind are told of this time, how 
he had started up from the confessional on a sudden, and had 
run to a house in the neighbourhood where a poor man, in 
despair of finding a maintenance for his family, had begun to 
hang himself; how he had by a word delivered a lady who came 
to him in great anguish of mind from a troublesome temptation 
which she had long suffered; and how, with a poetic simplicity 
which reminds us of the anecdotes of St. Francis of Assisi, when 
a fine horse had been plunging and kicking savagely whenever 
an attempt was made to shoe it, he had gone up, stroked it, 
and tamed it. Brother horse, he said, how is it that so beau 
tiful as you are, you will let no one put shoes on you? and the 
animal yielded to his words as the fierce wolf of Gubbio had 
yielded to his namesake. 7 

The month of June had hardly begun, when Francis Xavier 
had to discharge the last offices of Christian charity to his dying 
friend the Governor, Don Joam de Castro. He had already 
been ailing when he returned to Goa, and his heart had been 
afflicted by the failure of the attempt on Aden, and by the mis 
conduct of the Portuguese at Chaul, in the blame of which his 
own son had a share. Faria y Sousa, who seems to lose no 
opportunity of a sour remark upon the great degeneracy which 
the immense temptations of their position in India brought on 
7 Massei (from Bartoli and the Processes), lib. ii. c. 14. 

48 St. Francis Xavier. 

amongst the Portuguese, tells us that Don Joam was dying of a 
disease, which in his own time killed no man, though in old 
times it had killed thousands ; for even diseases die, says the 
old annalist. This disease was a keen sentiment of the miser 
able state in which he beheld India, without seeing any way to 
repair it, and some few instances of misconduct just now men 
tioned. While he was in this state, a large fleet arrived from 
Portugal. It was the first which had been dispatched to the East 
since the news of the victory of Diu had arrived at Lisbon. 
The large number of seventeen ships had been fitted out to do 
especial honour to the occasion, and to the Governor, whose 
exploits were ringing in every ear throughout Portugal. It 
was the first time, says Faria y Sousa, that any Governor of 
India had received honours from his King for any meritorious 
action. He does not seem to think much of the honours be 
stowed on Don Joam. He was continued for three years in 
the government and raised to the rank of Viceroy, a title only 
exceptionally bestowed on the representative of the King in 
India. A sum of money was also given him over and above 
his salary, and his son, Don Alvaro, was made Capitan Major, 
or Admiral of the Indian Seas. Compliments and promises 
accompanied these honours. In those days, says the chroni 
cler, great deserts found rewards as niggardly as now great 
rewards find niggardly merits to earn them. 

But these rewards, such as they were, found Don Joam not 
in a state to enjoy them. He was dying fast dying, as Faria 
y Sousa puts it, because he saw his country s fame at its last 
gasp. However that may be, he died like a Christian hero, 
and we can see, in what is told of his last days, the influence 
of the presence of Francis Xavier by his deathbed. Don Joam 
had been free in his letters to the King as to what he said 
about persons in India, and on his deathbed he asked their 
pardon for what he might Jiave said against them. Finding 
himself unable to attend tc public affairs, he nominated a coun 
cil of government the Bishop, the Governor of the city, the 
Chancellor, and two other officials. When he felt himself grow 
ing worse he called them to him, as well as the Superiors of 

Don "Joam de Castro. 49 

the Dominicans and Franciscans, and Francis Xavier, and told 
them that though he neither expected nor desired to live, yet 
in the state in which he was it was necessary to be at some 
expense while he hung between life and death ; that he had 
nothing of his own to provide himself with medicines and at 
tendance, and that he begged them to order some part of the 
King s money to be applied for that purpose. Then he had a 
missal brought him, and raising his eyes to heaven, swore on 
it that he had never taken for his own use the money of the 
King or of any one else, and that he had never made any con 
tract or bargain to increase his own property. He begged that 
notice of this declaration should be entered on the King s 
books. Soon after this, having received devoutly all the last 
sacraments of the Church, he expired in the arms of Francis 
Xavier. It was the sixth of June; he had been Governor for 
two years and eight months. They opened, says Faria y 
Sousa, a private desk of his, and what they found therein was 
a discipline clotted with blood, and three reals. Such was his 
treasure. He was most devout to the holy Cross. They buried 
him in the church of St. Francis, and there were some demon 
strations of sorrow for him which, however, were remarkable 
chiefly because it is so rare to find in India any one who grieves 
for anything except for the disappointment of his own ambi 
tion or the failure of his own designs. 8 

The mention of the devotion of Joam de Castro to the 
holy Cross reminds us of some facts concerning him stated by 
Lucena, which may serve to make the slight sketch here given 
of him more complete, as well as to illustrate some character 
istics of the Portuguese settlers in India. Lucena tells us that 
during the governorship of Don Joam a discovery of a curious 
slab of white marble was made at Meliapor in digging for the 
foundations of a hermitage amid the ruins which marked the 
spot of the martyrdom of the Apostle St. Thomas. On one lace 
of this slab was a cross in relief, with a bird like a dove over it, 
with its wings expanded, as the Holy Ghost is usually repre 
sented when descending on our Lord at His Baptism or our 
8 Faria y Sousa, t. ii. p. z, cap. 5. 


50 St. Francis Xavier. 

Lady at her Annunciation. This cross was erected over the al 
tar in the chapel which was built in the new sanctuary. As it 
was discovered during his governorship, Don Joam took it as a 
heavenly sign of great victories, which God would grant him 
for the honour and glory of the Cross ; and as in the year after 
the relief of Diu he obtained some wonderful successes at Sal- 
sette and in the neighbourhood, in which great numbers of 
Mussulmans had been slain with hardly any loss to the Portu 
guese, he considered that the Apostle St. Thomas had gained 
him these triumphs, especially as the chief rout of the enemy 
had taken place on his feast day, and as that was the first oc 
casion on which, he himself having requested of his Highness 
that so it might be, the Portuguese began to invoke in India 
the name of the glorious St. Thomas along with that of Sant 
iago at the outset of their battles against the infidels. It was 
probably in this spring, perhaps during the weeks which Don 
Joam spent at Goa, before his death, in company with Francis 
Xavier, that the Governor, imitating the arch of Titus and the 
column of Trajan, decorated the walls and gates and entrances 
of the city of Goa, and the Government House, and had an arch 
built of wrought stones which were brought from the mosque 
of Diu, with many cannon balls which the enemy had shot 
into the town on the top, and stone lions with shields bearing 
his arms on their breasts. The arch was against the wall of 
the Church of the Misericordia, and inside it was a representa 
tion of St. Thomas with his hand in the side of our Lord ; and 
this was solemnly carried to its place with a grand procession, 
borne and accompanied by the Chapter of the See, the religious 
orders, the College, the Court, the civil authorities, and the 
soldiery and artillery, with salvos of cannon and musketry and 
vocal and instrumental music, and all other kinds of solemn 
and festive celebration ; all which was to the great glory of the 
Saint, and the great consolation and spiritual delight of his 
great devotee, our Father Master Francis, out of respect and 
favour to whom Don Joam would have it that this noble tri 
umphal procession of the sacred Apostle should start from the 
College. 9 

9 Lucena, I it/a, 1. vi. cap. 4. 


Francis Xavier and his Religious Brethren. 

DON JOAM DE CASTRO died on the sixth of June, as has been 
said, and his death released Francis Xavier from any obligation 
to remain at Goa. Francis had intended to revisit his brethren 
who were labouring on the Fishery Coast and in Travancore 
as soon as possible. They were in continual danger, and most 
of them new to their work. But navigation was almost impos 
sible till the beginning of September, and we find that Francis 
did not leave Goa till that time. The three months interval 
was spent by him in his usual occupations, teaching the chil 
dren and slaves the Catechism, preaching on Sundays and fes 
tivals, and putting himself at the service of any poor soul that 
was in need of spiritual charity. 

The Governorship of India was a post never left unfilled. 
Whenever a Governor or Viceroy died in India, the patents of 
succession were opened. After the decease of Don Joam, as the 
two officers whose names were first in order were absent from 
India, the government devolved upon the third, Don Garcia 
de Sa, a veteran of nearly seventy years of age, who had spent a 
great many years in India, and had very large experience both in 
civil and military matters. His reign was to be even shorter 
than that of Don Joam. He was a man of vigour and integrity, 
and began by putting in order many matters which had been 
left in a state of suspense during the later months of Don Joam s 
government. Whether the hard fighting of Don Joam had used 
up the munitions and armaments, or not, we are not told, but 
Garcia de Sa distinguished himself for the careful provision 
which he made in this respect, having good and strong galleys 
built, and furnishing all the Portuguese fortresses with artil 
lery and ammunition, as well as gratifying the soldiers with an 

52 St. Francis Xavier. 

increase of pay. He was also a very equitable and just civil 
administrator. He was a good friend to Francis, and took some 
measures for the protection of his favourite converts on the 
Fishery Coast. Francis foretold his death privately to a friend 
in Malacca, Antonio de Sotisa, two months before it happened. 
Garcia died in July 1549. It is mentioned of him that his in 
tegrity was so great, that though he had held considerable offices 
he was forced to give all he had to match two daughters, and 
yet the best part of their portions was their beauty, and that he 
was their father. 1 

Francis also occupied himself during this interval in giving 
the Spiritual Exercises to several persons. The custom of 
making retreats in common, according to which a number of 
persons go through the Exercises together, had not yet become 
prevalent, and, in the same way, the Exercises were usually ex 
tended, by those who made them, to the full space of thirty 
days. The Japanese Anger and his companions seem to have 
gone through the Exercises somewhat later than this ; Cosmo 
Torres, already mentioned as having joined the Society, some 
what earlier. But these were all now at the College of Santa 
Fe, and would no doubt be objects of peculiar interest and 
care to Francis. It was during this time that they were formed 
by his fervent and gentle guidance, and that, in their turn, the 
Japanese strangers communicated to him so much knowledge 
about their country as served to kindle in him more ardently 
than ever the desire to go thither and preach the Gospel. We 
thus find what we may call the domestic circle in which Francis 
moved, enlarged and increased in interest. When he first came 
to India, he had but two companions, and he had never been 
able to live much with them from the time of the commence 
ment of his apostolical labours. Now the little band of mem 
bers of the Society of Jesus was being multiplied, and Francis 
had to govern them, form them, and encourage them. For the 
rest of his short life, this now became one of his chief occupa 
tions : even when in so distant a spot as Japan we shall find his 
thoughts occupied with them, and it is to his care for them 
1 Faria y Sousa, Asia Portuguesci, t. ii. p. 2, cap. 6. 

Caspar Eacrtz, 53 

that we owe some of the most wonderful and most character 
istic of his letters. 

The number of his religious subjects was almost doubled 
by the arrivals of the year 1548. On the third of September a 
ship from Lisbon, under the command of the admiral Joam de 
Mendoza, brought the first detachment of a reinforcement of 
ten of the Society, the remainder being on board another vessel 
of the fleet which arrived later. In all there were four Fathers, 
Caspar Baertz, a Fleming, born at Goes in Zealand, Melchior 
Gonzalez, Balthazar Gago, and Antonio Gomez: the remaining 
six were either lay brothers, or scholastics not yet ordained 
Joam Fernandez, Egidio Barreto, Paolo Vallez, 2 Francesco 
Fernandez, Manuel Vaz, and Luis Froes. Francis Xavier left 
Goa but a few days after the arrival of the first vessel, but he 
had time to make the acquaintance of Gaspar, who from this 
moment became one of his most useful and valued assistants 
in the work of preaching. His history was curious. He had 
studied philosophy and theology at Louvain, and had taken the 
<legree of Master at the age of nineteen. After this, however, 
he became a soldier in the army of Charles V., and was wont 
in after life to reproach himself for what he considered his 
tepidity in the service of God by the recollection of the ardour 
with which, at the cost of so many risks and hardships and for 
so poor a reward, he had served an earthly king. It is not 
quite easy to trace him through the ten or eleven years of his 
life which passed between his leaving Louvain and his entrance 
into the Society ; but he seems to have felt himself called to 
serve God for some time before the latter date, and either 
thought of or actually practised an eremitical life at Mon- 
serrato. Chance or business took him at last to Portugal, where 
he seems to have held some not very conspicuous office under 
the King s Treasurer, who one day lost his temper with him 
and even loaded him with blows ; whereupon Gaspar took up 
his stick, and presented it to him, begging him to take it and 
beat him with it again whenever, without being in a passion, he 

2 Paolo Vallez is said by Orlandini to have been already a priest. Hist, 
Soc.\. viii. cap. 100. 

54 St. Francis Xavier. 

thought that he deserved it, but imploring him also that when- 
he thought fit to punish his servants he would not let his own 
passion be his counsellor. He entered the Society at Coimbra 
in 1546, and seems, like others, to have been moved to the 
step by the fervent preaching of Strada. While yet a novice, 
he showed on several trying occasions singular modesty and 
selfcontrol. It is probable that his learning was hardly known, 
as he could not speak Portuguese well, and had not been a 
student at Coimbra ; at all events he concealed all his intel 
lectual and acquired gifts so well, that he was thought stupid 
and uneducated, and was employed either in the kitchen or as 
keeper of the clothes of the community. One day the religious 
were accusing themselves of their faults in public to the Superior, 
Simon Rodriguez, and then Caspar confessed that he had felt 
a strong temptation to desire to become a great preacher. 
Simon at once ordered him to get on a bench and preach to 
the community. After he had obeyed and blundered through 
an exhortation at which all were inclined to laugh, Simon asked 
him what he thought of his own sermon. Caspar replied that, 
though he had got on so badly and might do worse other times, 
he did not give up the hope of being some day a preacher. 
Simon saw what was implied by his humility, simplicity, and 
sincerity. He ordered him to leave the employment of the 
lay brothers among whom he had worked, and to go over his 
studies again ; then he had him ordained, and sent him out to 

Caspar seemed to have received the gift of preaching along. 
with his ordination, for he turned out at once so successful 
and powerful in the pulpit that his sermons became famous for 
the conversions which they produced, and he was in great re 
quest for what are technically called missions throughout the 
country. We are told that whenever he arrived at a place to 
which he was sent, even if it were already evening and he had 
had no time to prepare himself, he used to go up into the pulpit 
and preach with all the fatigue and weariness of a long journey 
on foot to weigh him down. He was passing from one mission 
at Figuereiro to another at Pedroga when the order met him to 

Antonio Gomez. 55 

embark for India. He went up into the pulpit at the lastnamed 
place, and preached one sermon with immense fervour and 
success, so that all the people were at his feet in an instant ; he 
went on hearing their confessions all night, and until late in the 
forenoon of the following day ; then he said mass, and went 
straight to Coimbra, whither he was summoned, and thence to 
Lisbon. On his voyage out to India he had displayed the same 
prodigies of charity, patience, and humility which had marked 
the outward voyage of Francis Xavier himself. He was always 
preaching, instructing, hearing confessions, or waiting on the 
sick, taking on himself all the lowest and most contemptible 
offices. The Capitan Major himself, Joam de Mendoza, put 
himself under his direction, and a violent storm which fell on 
the ship in the passage from the Cape to Mozambique, and 
which frightened the most courageous and skilful among the 
sailors, gave him the opportunity of converting some most 
hardened and abandoned sinners, especially women, who were 
on board. The storm at length seemed to cease at his prayers. 
When at last the vessel reached Goa, the whole crew and all 
the passengers could speak of nothing but the virtues and 
sanctity of Master Caspar. 3 

Another of the new band of Fathers had a reputation as a 
preacher hardly, if at all, inferior to that of Caspar. This was 
Antonio Comez, who had been longer in the Society, having 
been received into it at Coimbra during Pierre Lefevre s visit 
in 1545. He was thought one of the ablest men at Coimbra, 
and was Master in Philosophy and Doctor in Canon Law. When 
he entered religion, he distributed his large fortune to the poor. 

3 See Eus. Nieremberg, Claras Varones dc la Campania dc Jesus, t. i. 
p. 45, 46 ; Orlandini, Hist. Soc. lib. viii. c. 100-105 > I* ar toli, Asia, lib. v. 
p. 445 seq. Bartoli mentions Caspar s having studied philosophy at Louvain, 
but does not speak of theology; Nieremberg speaks of both. It seems un 
likely, though it is not impossible, that he would have been ordained and 
sent out as a missioner in less than two years after his entrance into the no 
vitiate, unless he had already made his theological studies. The family 
name of Master Gaspar was probably as we have given it, Baertz or BarU 
being a common name in Holland. He is called Barzseus or Berzaeus, 
Barzeo or Barzee, by the historians, according to the language in which they 

56 St. Francis Xavier. 

Two years afterwards, we find him spoken of as a strenuous 
and successful preacher of missions in Portugal, where he went 
through the whole province Entre Douro e Minho from 
town to town with a single companion, preaching two or three 
times a day in the open fields, lodging in the hospitals, living 
on food which he begged himself, watching by night to prepare 
what he was to preach by day, and edifying all by his zeal, 
charity, and indifference to all earthly goods and comforts. Each 
of them, says Orlandini, heard about fifty confessions every 
day. 4 Antonio was appointed by Simon Rodriguez to act as 
Superior to the rest, and even to govern after he had arrived at 
Goa. At the time when this arrangement was made no one in 
Portugal knew where Francis Xavier was, as he had not re 
turned westwards from the Moluccas; but the appointment was 
unfortunate, and entailed a large amount of suffering and 
scandal on the Society in India. Gomez was in natural gifts 
and in education superior to Caspar or any other of his com 
panions, and no fault could be found with him on the score of 
zeal. But he was one of those instances which are for ever 
recurring in the history of the Church and of religious orders, 
of men with great and valuable gifts who are exalted before the 
time, without having grounded themselves in humility and solid 
virtue. Francis Xavier could hardly have been deceived as to 
the weak points in Gomez, though he speaks of him highly at 
first ; never, however, with that warmth and tenderness which 
characterize his language to Caspar and others. The appoint 
ment made by Simon Rodriguez was one which he had no right 
to make, yet it embarrassed Francis Xavier, as we shall see, 
who did not like either entirely to ignore or to acquiesce in it. 

Hist. Soc. Jew, 1. vii. cap. 67. He tells a characteristic story of one 
of these missions at Oporto. A bullfight was announced for one of the 
days of the mission. After the morning sermon Gonsalvez Vaz, Gomez 
companion, gave out that he should preach that afternoon at the time named 
for the bullfight, that he invited all to come, and that he hoped to see 
who were the servants of God, and who of the world and the devil, by 
observing who came to church and who went to the bullfight. He meant 
to preach all the same, he said, even if he had only one old woman to hear 
him. The church was crowded long before the time of the sermon, and 
the bullfight deserted. 

Fernandez. 57 

More than one of the companions of Caspar and Antonio 
Gomez were men of mark and singular worth. One of the most 
conspicuous was Joam Fernandez, who never rose beyond the 
rank of a simple lay brother, and yet was of immense service to 
the young Church of Japan when he accompanied Francis Xa- 
vier thither. He was a rich young merchant of Cordova, traffick 
ing in silks. Some business had taken him to Lisbon not more 
than fifteen months before the time of which we are speaking. 
A friend chanced to ask him to come to hear some service in 
the house of the Fathers ; it would be the sweetest music he 
ever heard in his life. Joam consented, and found himself pre 
sent in a Congregation of more than two hundred men, who 
met once a week for purposes of devotion and penance. One 
of the Fathers preached an exhortation, and then the lights were 
put out, and the members of the confraternity took the discipline 
together, amid groans and tears for their sins. Fernandez was 
a changed man at once ; he resolved to give up the world, and 
become a religious. He asked to see Simon Rodriguez. Simon 
Rodriguez, doubting whether the rich young gallant before him 
would have the courage to persevere in the humble vocation of 
lay brother, which alone, on account of his want of higher 
education, was open to him, told him that he could only admit 
him after long and severe trials. But the first trial to which 
he was put was enough. He was asked whether he could bear 
to ride through the most frequented street of Lisbon, finely 
dressed as he was, upon a donkey s back with his face to the 
tail? Without hesitating a moment, he went through the ordeal 
leisurely and rejoicing. Simon then received him at once, in 
June 1547, and he was sent out to India in the following spring, 
where Francis Xavier discerned his merit, cultivated his soul 
with care, and took him, as we shall see, as his companion to 

Melchior Gonzalez had been rather more than two years 
in the Society, before he sailed from Lisbon: his life was to 
be short, but he was to leave behind him the fame of an in 
defatigable and most devoted labourer. Balthazar Gago was 
another Portuguese recruit: he had a far longer life before him 

5 8 St. Francis Xavier. 

than Melchior, and he was to go to Japan, labour most success 
fully, and after nearly losing his life more than once, to return 
broken and relaxed in spirit to Goa and to Europe. Paolo 
Vallez, Luis Froes, and Francesco Fernandez, were all to be 
come famous for their sufferings and labours for religion. Be 
sides those mentioned in the list of recruits sent from Portugal, 
there was another, beside Cosmo Torres, who had joined the 
Society in Goa, on whom Francis Xavier s heart rested with 
particular affection. This was Alfonso de Castro, the son of rich 
and noble parents in Lisbon. He had known Francis Xavier 
and Simon Rodriguez on their first arrival in Portugal, and was 
one of the lads who were taught by them to go regularly to 
confession and communion once a week. He kept up these 
holy practices after the departure of Francis, and as he grew 
up to man s estate, the desire of serving God in religion became 
strong and engrossing in his heart. He knew that his parents 
would not consent to part with him, so he determined to go to 
India and ask Francis Xavier to admit him. He had a com 
panion of his own age and of the same mind, and the two young 
men arranged with the captain of one of the vessels of the fleet 
which was to sail to Goa, got off in secret from the shore, and 
hid themselves in the hold. They were, however, tracked and 
discovered, and then Alfonso pleaded his cause so earnestly 
and resolutely, that his parents and friends had not the heart 
to hinder his departure. They provided him with what was 
necessary for the voyage, and then the two companions were 
allowed to depart in peace. Alfonso, as soon as the ship had 
sailed, distributed all his provisions and outfit to the poorest 
among the passengers, and lived during the voyage on alms,, 
practising humility, charity, and other virtues in a way that gave 
the highest idea of his sanctity. On arriving at Goa, the two* 
friends threw themselves at the feet of Francis, and were re 
ceived into the Society. Alfonso s companion soon fell sick and 
died. Alfonso himself was cherished and carefully trained by 
Francis Xavier, who took him in the following year to Malacca, 
after he had been ordained priest, and then sent him to labour 
in the Moluccas, where he was soon to meet a glorious death. 

Caspar at Goa. 59 

Only a few days after the arrival of Caspar and his com 
panions, and before the arrival of the ship which conveyed the 
little band led by Antonio Gomez, Francis set off once more for 
the Comorin Coast. His old enemies the Badages had been as 
active as usual in molesting the new Christians. Some of the 
missionaries themselves appear to have been in great danger- 
Meanwhile, the newly arrived Fathers began to work with all 
the activity of long restrained fervour. Their first occupation 
seems to have been to give the Spiritual Exercises to a num 
ber of Caspar s converts during the voyage. The Capitan 
Major himself was one of them ; another was an officer whose 
name is not recorded, sent out to take the command of one of 
the king s strongholds and settlements in the East; another 
was a doctor of canon and civil law ; Diego Lobo, nephew of 
the Baron d Alvito, was another; Luigi Mendez, four other 
young nobles, and a crowd of persons of inferior rank, are also 
mentioned. 5 Of these, Luigi Mendez alone, as far as Bartoli 
could discover, entered the Society. Caspar soon began to- 
preach. Indeed, on account of his great reputation and the 
high character given of him by those who had sailed with him r 
Francis ordered him to preach at once, before his own depar 
ture, on the Nativity of our Blessed Lady (Sept. 8th), in the 
church of the College. A great crowd assembled to listen to him ;. 
but his voice was so thin and weak that he was heard by only a 
very few. Francis bade him practise his voice in the church 
at night, and in a few days it was strong and clear enough for 
any use required of it. Caspar spared neither his lungs nor 
himself. The College was badly furnished with teachers, so he 
took the class of grammar and of philosophy himself, and began 
also to give Scripture lectures in the book of Proverbs. He 
went on preaching also in the church. The second batch of 
Fathers, under Gomez, arrived the first week in October, after 
having been in considerable danger near Mozambique, to avert 
which, they had produced a relic of one of the companions 
of St. Ursula. Gomez, in the absence of Francis Xavier, seems 
to have assumed the command of the College : at least we find 
1 Bartoli, Asia, 1. ii. p. 165. 

6o St. Francis Xavier. 

Caspar and others of the lately arrived Fathers acting in obedi 
ence to him. Caspar was very successful in conversions. Among 
others, he converted a rich Brahmin, whom in the course of 
his visits to the prison he found detained there for some crime 
not mentioned. This conversion made a great noise, and was 
celebrated with public rejoicings. With the force of his spirit, 
says Caspar s biographer, he soon so moved the city of Goa, 
that it did not know itself, although it had sometime had the 
benefit of the preaching of St. Francis Xavier. Caspar preached 
daily to the nobility in the palace, to the slaves in the streets 
and public places, to the poor in the prisons, to the people 
in different churches, with an eloquence so new and so truly 
Christian, producing so many tears and such changes of life, that 
our people who had known him in Portugal were astonished. 
He kindled the fervour of the Portuguese, converted the heathen, 
edified and did good to all. It seemed as if he had an infused 
gift of speaking Portuguese, as he spoke it as if it were his native 
tongue, without even a foreign accent. 

In the midst of all this fervour and religious renovation, a 
strange report spread through the city that Francis Xavier had 
been murdered by the Badages. The story was told with great 
particularity as to the circumstances of the tortures to which he 
had been subjected and the constancy with which he had 
borne them. The report served to bring out in public the uni 
versal opinion of his sanctity. Every one had something to say 
about his perfection and his works of charity, his fervour, his 
confidence in Cod under danger, his unwearied patience in 
suffering, his humility, his gentleness and sweetness to others, 
his unsparing severity to himself. Miracles that had hardly 
been heard of, secret prophecies which he had made and which 
had come true, and a thousand little acts of personal tender 
ness and instances of his prudence and wisdom in the guidance 
of souls, came to light now. A number of the Portuguese 
agreed to set out in order to redeem his sacred relics, as they 
considered them, from his murderers, and others set on foot an 
application to the king to ask for his canonization from the 
Nieremberg, Claras Varones, t. i. p. 47, 48. 

Letters to Europe. 6 1 

Pope. The rumour was soon contradicted : while it lasted, it 
drew particular attention and veneration to the rest of the 
Fathers, and seems to have spurred on their religious zeal and 
spiritual activity, till the face of things at Goa was really changed 
for the better. 

Scattered throughout the letters of this time which were 
sent home by the Fathers newly come to India, are notices of 
Francis which show the same instinctive appreciation of his 
marvellous and most attractive sanctity. I wish to tell you 
about Master Francis, writes Enrico Enriquez to Ignatius 
Loyola in the October of this year. Give great thanks to God 
our Lord, with all of our Society. For what St. Paul says, that 
he became all things to all men, that he might gain all, this 
Master Francis tries as much as he can et supra quod did potest 
to accomplish, and no pen can describe to your Reverence 
what a reputation he has in India, from which result much 
fruit and great praise to God our Lord, and all the people hold 
him for a great saint. He is never anywhere where he does not 
find superabundant occupations, so much so that a man thinks 
himself very well off if he can speak to him. He is a true 
Father, writes Manuel de Moraes a few months later than this; 
no one, I think, can see him without great consolation, the very 
sight of him seems to move to devotion : he is a man of middle 
height, he always holds his face upwards, and his eyes are full 
of tears, his look is bright and joyous, his words few and excit 
ing to devotion, you hear nothing from his mouth but "Jesus" 
and " O Most Holy Trinity." . . . And then he broke out, " O my 
brothers and companions, how much better is God to us than 
we thought of ! Consider this and give great thanks and praise 
to God our Lord, that in so short a time as it is since our holy 
Society was confirmed, being only seven years, it has pleased Him 
to work in it all that we see, my dearest brothers : that some of 
us are in Rome, some in Valencia, others in Gandia, others in 
Coimbra, in the College of Santa Fe at Goa, and in Cape Como- 
rin, and Socotra, and Malacca, and the Moluccas, and others, 
whither I am going, in Japan." These words he said, continues 
Manuel, with so much devotion, that he moved all of us who 

<5 2 St. Francis Xavier. 

were there to tears and devotion, only to hear his words so full of 
love and charity, said for an example to us and to make us all 
conceive greater fervour of spirit, and increased desires of suf 
fering ; and to this end, he related to us the trials and tribula 
tions which he had suffered in the countries whence he came, in 
which he did such things and left behind him so great a fame 
of sanctity and virtue, that it is not just to write of it whilst he 
lives. So great is the esteem in which he is held all over India, 
both by great and small, that the man who is most his friend 
counts himself the most fortunate. Another, Paolo Vallez, was 
sent on straight from Goa after his arrival with Antonio Gomez, 
and met with Francis at Cochin : Who can tell, he says, the 
delight which my soul then received? I know not how to say it, 
-except in poor words : this is truly a servant of God, and never 
was any like him ! I do not say his speech, but his very look 
kindles in men such a desire to serve God as cannot be ex 
pressed. His mouth neverceased from saying, "Praised bejesus 
Christ !" with so much love and fervour as to enrapture all whom 
he spoke unto. Then he goes on to tell how Francis was never 
tired of asking about the fathers and brothers everywhere, es 
pecially Simon Rodriguez the Provincial of Portugal, but Father 
Ignatius above all, and also Father Strada. Melchior Gonzalez 
writes in the same strain. He was one of those who saw Francis 
at Goa before he left for Cape Comorin. Francis is all full of 
divine love, and seems to feel nothing else. It would be im 
possible to begin to describe his virtues; there would be no end 
to it or to speak of his miracles and holy discourses. He is a 
man not old, and of good health, he drinks no manner of wine, 
and seems to feel no privation, because he is wrapt up in the 
wounds of his Lord. We may all say, he adds, that we have 
among us a living martyr, and I think he will soon be really a 
martyr, for he seems to me to seek nothing else. 

Notwithstanding their frequent trials and sufferings, the state 
of the Christians on the Fishery Coast was, in many respects, 
flourishing. About this time we are told that there were fifty 
thousand Christians there, with a number of churches well 
built, and furnished with their altars, frontals, cloths, lamps 

Francesco Enrique?,. 

which were always burning, in short, in everything the same as 
we have in Europe, only that those churches were more fre 
quented by the Christian Paravas than ours by us. 7 In Travan- 
core, on the other side of the Cape, things were worse for the 
time, and Francesco Enriquez was inclined to lose heart and go 
elsewhere. This brought him the following tender letter from 
Francis : 

(LXI.) To Father Francesco Enrique?,. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ ever 
favour and help us ! Amen. 

I would much rather, dearest brother, talk to you face to 
face than by letter, and so give you some little consolation for 
all the toils and discomforts and trials you are bearing for the 
sake of Christ. You do not ask for consolation of that kind 
which forms the delight of men of the world who give themselves 
to all the pleasures of this world that they may live in gaiety 
and enjoyments. We must needs feel a great compassion for 
the lot of such. The men whose part we should envy must be 
those of whom, as the Apostle says, the world was not worthy. 8 
Do not grieve, my dear brother, that you make less progress 
than you could wish in your careful work among these new 
converts. As you tell me, the nation is addicted to idolatry, 
and the Rajah himself is hostile to our religion and bitterly per 
secutes Christians. Well, you do more good than you think, 
by regenerating in baptism for the kingdom of heaven the in 
fants whom you so diligently seek out and collect. For if you 
choose to look around you in mind, you will find that of all 
people in India, whether white or black, very few reach heaven 
except those who die before they are fourteen years old, and 
so depart from this life with their baptismal innocence. 

Do not you see, dearest brother, that you are doing more 
good where you are than you think ? Surely we can see this 
in the case of the children whom you have baptized and who 

" Lucena, ViJa, 1. vi. c. 6. 

Orig. Dignus non crat mundus. 

64 St. Francis Xavier. 

are now enjoying the bliss of heaven, which they certainly 
would not be enjoying if you had left those parts and had not 
begotten them by baptism unto Christ. In truth the everlast 
ing enemy of souls hates you very much and strongly desires 
that you should go out of the country as soon as possible, so 
that for the future no one may be called to the Kingdom of 
Heaven out of the realm of Travancore. It is one of his snares 
to hold out to us a hope of greater good for the service of God 
elsewhere ; he tries to tempt and turn away those who are 
working usefully for God where they are at present ; and so 
I am afraid that he may be attacking you with this artifice of 
his in order to drive you away from that part of the country. 

But you should remember that during the eight months 
which you have now spent there, you have saved more souls 
by baptizing infants at the point of death than in all the years 
during which you have been in Portugal and in India ; so da 
not think it wonderful that Satan should give you so much 
trouble as he does. He does it and fights for it that he may 
draw you out of that country into another where you may look 
after the salvation of very few instead of many. Now I will 
give you some news which I think will be very pleasant to you, 
that a great many of our Society have arrived since September 
from Portugal. When I left Goa I ordered them to come and 
help me here ; now I am returning to Goa on a matter of busi 
ness, which ff I can accomplish as I desire, I am in good hopes 
that a great number will become Christians. I wish you to 
pray to God that although our sins hinder us from being good 
servants of His, yet He Himself, out of His infinite goodness 
and boundless charity towards men, may condescend to use 
our work, such as it is, for the propagation of religion. 

Punical, Oct. 19, 1548. 

It is not quite easy to trace Francis through each month of 
the interval between his departure from Goa in September 1548 
and his final sailing for Malacca in the next year. He seems 
to have returned to Goa by Cochin before the end of October, 
but he certainly spent a good part of the winter at Cochin ; in 

Ignatius Martinez. 65 

February 1549 he went to the Governor in Bazain, and in March 
he was again in Goa. 

At Cochin, where he is stated by some writers to have spent 
at least two months, he received to baptism the young Rajah 
of the Maldive Isles, who was seeking the aid of the Portuguese 
against a rebellion in his rather uninviting dominions. Chris 
tian though he became, the Portuguese authorities were not in 
clined to help him, and he lived to an old age in Cochin. He 
was a witness to one of Francis s miraculous elevations in the air 
while saying mass. We may now give the letters which remain 
to us belonging to this winter, reserving for the next chapter 
those which have more immediate reference to the arrange 
ments made by Francis in India before his departure for Japan, 
the idea of which had been so long in his mind, and had gra 
dually taken possession of him as that of the work which he 
was more immediately called on to undertake. The first letter 
was written from Goa during the visit mentioned as intended 
in the letter to Father Enriquez and before his departure for 
Cochin. This letter is a mere fragment, and we can only guess 
at its purport. It is addressed to a Father in Portugal, who had 
entered the Society in the spring of the year before this. His 
real name was Vasco Martinez ; but when the foundation of the 
College at Coimbra was laid in April that year, it had been 
agreed, in honour of Ignatius Loyola, that the first person who 
joined the Society at Coimbra after the ceremony should take 
the name of Ignatius. Martinez bore the name most worthily. 
He seems to have written to Francis to ask him to use his in 
fluence about a foundation at Villa Viciosa, which does not 
appear to have come to anything. The Rocco Martinez men 
tioned at the end was probably the brother or cousin of the 
Ignatius to whom the letter is addressed. 9 

9 The register of the College of Coimbra mentions a brother, whose 
name is not given, as having gone out to India with the rest in 1546. 
He might well be in the College at Goa at the time that this letter was 


66 St. Francis Xavicr. 

(LXII.) To Father Ignatius Martinez, of the Society 
of Jesus. 

May the holy Name of Jesus be praised for ever ! that we 
may love Him as we ought. 

Although I have urgently advised in my general letter, . . . yet 
I write this to you privately that the greatest possible care may 
be taken about this business on account of its great importance, 
especially as everything at present seems to be in much confu 
sion. I am writing to his lordship about the College of Villa 
Viciosa. God grant that it may be done just as I have told him 
it ought, for otherwise nothing much will be done at all. I 
am also writing to our Father Ignatius to explain the reasons 
for doubt which people will raise, for they are certainly not light 
matters. But God remains always the same; this is His cause, 
and He will Himself defend it. 

Our brother Rocco Martinez is ill with a fever. We do not 
think it dangerous. He writes to you himself. The ships will 
only wait so short a time that I cannot write more, and all that 
is of most importance is contained in my general letter to all. 
If I could do anything by private letter, I certainly would very 

May the holy Name of Jesus ever assist us ! 
Goa, Dec. 22, 1548. 

The ships which brought the Fathers from Portugal this 
year must have conveyed the letters from Ignatius at Rome 
and Simon Rodriguez at Coimbra which Francis was always 
anxiously expecting. It seems that among the despatches 
from Ignatius there were letters to Antonio Criminale, Niccolo 
Lancilotti, Paul of Camerino, and Alfonso Cipriano, promot 
ing them, as it is called, to their final vows in the Society in 
the grade of spiritual coadjutors. Francis must have remained 
about two months at Goa before returning to Cochin, if, at 
least, we can depend implicitly on the date of the letter last 

Letter to Ignatius. 67 

printed. That he must have spent some time with the Fathers 
who had arrived since he left Goa in September, is probable 
on every account, and we may discern some fruits of his ac 
quaintance with Antonio Gomez in the description which he 
gives to St. Ignatius, in the letter next to follow, of the sort of 
person required for the post of Rector of the College at Goa. 
We may notice also how especially Francis insists on the ne 
cessity of good practical judgment and prudence, and of the 
most delicate of all the virtues required in the missioner, ex 
quisite purity. We may reserve further remarks in explanation 
of this letter until after it has been put before the reader. 

(LXIII.) To the Rev. Father Master Ignatius of Loyola, 
General of the Society of "Jesus, Rome. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Christ always be with 
us ! Amen. 

My own and only Father in the Heart of Christ, I think 
that the many letters from this place which have lately been 
sent to Rome will inform you how prosperously the affairs of 
religion go on in these parts, through your prayers and the good 
bounty of God. But there seem to be certain things which I 
ought myself to speak about to you; so I will just touch on a 
few points relating to these parts of the world which are so dist 
ant frorn Rome. In the first place, the whole race of the In 
dians, as far as I have been able to see, is very barbarous ; and 
it does not like to listen to anything that is not agreeable to its 
own manners and customs, which, as I say, are barbarous. It 
troubles itself very little to learn anything about divine things 
and things which concern salvation. Most of the Indians are 
of vicious disposition, and are averse to virtue. Their instability, 
levity, and inconstancy of mind are incredible; they have hardly 
-any honesty, so inveterate are their habits of sin and cheating. 
We have hard work here, both in keeping the Christians up to 
the mark and in converting the heathen. And, as we are your 
children, it is fair that on this account you should take great 
care of us and help us continually by your prayers to God. You 

68 St. Francis Xavier. 

know very well what a hard business it is to teach people who 
neither have any knowledge of God nor follow reason, but think 
it a strange and intolerable thing to be told to give up their 
habits of sin, which have now gained all the force of nature by 
long possession. 

This country, too, always tries the strength to live in, either 
on account of the great heats of the summer or of the excessive 
winds and rains of winter. In Socotra, the Moluccas, and Cape 
Comorin, the food and supplies are very poor, and the labour 
of body and mind very great indeed and beyond all belief, on 
account of the dispositions of the people you have to contend 
with. Then, also, the languages of these nations are not at all 
easy to learn ; the dangers to life, both of body and soul, are 
many and very great. And yet, that all of our Society may give 
endless thanks to God, I am able with all truth to affirm that 
all your children of the Society out here in India have great 
care taken of them by God, so that we are by His mercy not 
only exempt from dangers of soul and body, but, what is a mat 
ter of great wonder to all, we are beloved and well regarded 
by all the Portuguese, private persons as well as officials and 
ecclesiastical superiors, and also by all the Indians, Christians- 
and heathens alike. 

Again, all the Indians, whether heathen or Mussulmans, as 
far as I have been able to make out hitherto, are very ignorant. 
So that those who are to go about in these parts for the purpose 
of propagating the Gospel, are not so much in need of learning 
as of virtue above all of obedience, perseverance, patience, 
charity, and a very singular purity against numerous temptations 
to sin ; and lastly, of an uncommon gift of counsel and prudence 
in the management of affairs, as well as strong health and vigour 
of body and mind, so as to bear labour and afflictions. I have 
said this, because I think it necessary that diligent examination 
should be made as to the virtues of the workers who may here 
after have to come to India. And if there are any of them 
whom you have not sufficiently proved in this respect, at least,, 
[ beseech you, let them be men in whom you may place great 
confidence. Such are the men who are wanted in India men 

Letter to Ignatius. 69 

of singular purity and humility, with no appearance about them 
of pride or elation. 

Any one whom you are to send to be Rector of the College 
at Goa, where he will rule the native students as well as our 
own people, must have, besides the other qualities which are 
necessary in Rectors, two recommendations in particular. In 
the first place, let him be conspicuous for singular obedience, 
so as to win by his obligingness and humility the good will of 
the government officials and ecclesiastical superiors. This is 
a place of all others where superiors of both kinds require 
the greatest possible degree of attention and obedience from 
those who are under them. If they see that we observe their 
wishes and obey their orders, they are wonderfully kind to us ; 
but if they see any failing in this, they altogether turn against 
us. In the second place, he should be very easy and gentle ; 
affable in behaviour and speech rather than grave or severe, so 
as both to desire and to be able to bind to himself in every 
way the hearts of all, and especially of the students and bre 
thren whom he is to rule. On no account let him be a man who 
would rather be feared than loved, and who would take the 
line of keeping those of the Society who are committed to him 
under rule and subjection as if they were slaves. That kind ot 
sourness would make many leave us, and prevent any but a 
few from joining us. 

For my part, I think that no force should ever be used, 
except perhaps that of love and charity, to keep any one against 
his wish in the Society, and I rather hold that those who dis 
like the institute of the Society should be sent away, even when 
they do not wish it ; but, for those who are fit and proper sub 
jects, they should be kept in it by the bonds of charity and 
made to increase in virtue and merits, especially since in these 
parts they have to bear so many sorrows for the sake of Christ 
our Lord, In truth, as it seems to me, the Society of Jesus is 
nothing but a society of love and concord, from which all sour 
ness and all servile fear are altogether foreign and alien. I say 
all this, that you may pick out a man fit and adapted for the 
burthen of the post. He ought, in short, to be such a man as 

St. Francis Xavier. 

even in giving an order seems rather to desire to do what he is- 
told than to command. 

The experience which I have of these countries makes me 
think that 1 can affirm with truth, that there is no prospect of 
perpetuating our Society out here by means of the natives them 
selves, and that the Christian religion will hardly survive us who 
are now in the country ; so that it is quite necessary that con 
tinual supplies of ours should be sent out from Europe. We 
have now some of the Society in all parts of India where there 
are Christians. Four are in the Moluccas, two at Malacca, 
six in the Comorin Promontory, two at Coulan, as many at 
Bazain, four at Socotra. The distances between these places 
are immense ; for instance, the Moluccas are more than a thou 
sand leagues from Goa, Malacca five hundred, Cape Comorin 
two hundred, Coulan one hundred and twenty, Bazain sixty, 
and Socotra three hundred. 10 In each place there is one of the 
Society who is Superior of the rest. As these Superiors are 
men of remarkable prudence and virtue, the others are very 
well content. 

The Portuguese in these countries are masters only of the 
sea and of the coast. On the mainland they have only the 
towns in which they live. The natives themselves are so enor 
mously addicted to vice as to be little adapted to receive the 
Christian religion. They so dislike it that it is most difficult 
to get them to hear us if we begin to preach about it, and they 
think it like death to be asked to become Christians. So for 
the present we devote ourselves to keeping the Christians whom 
we have. Certainly, if the Portuguese were more remarkable 
for their kindness to the new converts, a great number would 
become Christians ; as it is, the heathen see that the converts 
are despised and looked down on by the Portuguese, and so, 
as is natural, they are unwilling to become converts themselves, 
For all these reasons there is no need for me to labour in these 
countries, and as I have learnt from good authorities that there 

The distances given by St. Francis are sometimes various, and must 
always be taken as merely rough statements. There may be some inac 
curacy, also, in the transcription of the letters on these points. 

Letter to Ignatius. 71 

is a country near China called Japan, the inhabitants of which 
are all heathen, quite untouched by Mussulmans or Jews, and 
very eager to learn what they do not know both in things 
divine and things natural, I have determined to go thither as 
soon as I can. 

I undertake this voyage with great happiness in my soul, 
and with still greater hope, because I feel quite confident that 
the labour we may spend on that nation will produce solid and 
lasting fruit. In the College at Goa, which is called the Col 
lege of Santa Fe, we have three Japanese students who came 
thither with me last year from Malacca. They tell us wonder 
ful things about Japan. They are youths of very good virtue 
and extremely sharp wit ; Paul in particular, who is sending 
you a letter of very good length. In the space of eight months 
he has learnt perfectly to read, write, and speak Portuguese. 
He is now making the Exercises, and with very good fruit. He 
is quite well instructed in the Christian doctrine. I have really 
a very good hope that by God s help there will be a large num 
ber made Christians in Japan. I have made up my mind first 
to go to the king of the country, and then to the universities 
and seats of learning, and, as I hope, with great gain of souls. 
As Paul tells me, the religions of Japan are said to have been 
introduced from Chinghinquo, a city beyond China and Cathay, 
a year and a half s journey from Japan. When I get to Japan I 
will write to tell you all about the manners and literature of 
the people and also about the religion and the doctrines of 
Chinghinquo. For in all the Chinese Empire and in all Cathay 
it is said that no other teaching flourishes except that which is 
handed down in this most famous university. So that when I 
have got well acquainted with their literature and the doctrine 
of this place of learning I will write to you about it all at good 
length. And I shall not fail also to write on the same subject 
to the University of Paris, that by means of the people there 
the rest of the universities of Europe may have information of 
these things. Of those of the Society here I think to take with 
me only one European, Cosmo Torres of Valentia, who has 
joined us out here, and besides those three Japanese youths 

72 St. Francis Xavier. 

whom I have mentioned. We shall set out, God willing, in 
next April. 

Japan is more than thirteen hundred leagues distant from 
Goa. We must touch at Malacca and at- China on our way. 
I cannot find words to tell you how much fruit of divine con 
solation and delight I enjoy in undertaking this business. It 
is well known that the voyage is exposed to very many and 
very great dangers from tempests, shoals, and pirates ; so that 
the ship owners think it a great thing if one ship out of two 
hold her course to Japan. But I feel so moved and encour 
aged in my inmost heart, that I could never think of abandon 
ing my plan of going to Japan, even if I knew for certain that 
I should have to undergo greater dangers than ever before in 
my whole life, so great is the hope of propagating the Christian 
religion which has arisen in me from what Paul the Japanese 
tells me, or rather from what God Himself puts in my heart. 
How fit and prepared the country is to receive the seed of the 
Gospel you will be able to understand from Paul s account of 
it, which I send you along with this letter. 

In these parts of India there are as many as fifteen towns 
belonging to the Portuguese, in which many houses of the So 
ciety might be set on foot if the King would give something 
out of the public revenues for their commencement. I have 
said something about this to the King in my letter. I have 
also informed Simon Rodriguez of everything, and have also 
told him that it would be very much for the interests of religion 
if, with your leave, he were to come out here himself with as 
many as possible of the Society, and a great band of preachers, 
inasmuch as by his coming, which of course would have the 
King s favour, several Colleges of the Society might be founded. 
And to me, my Father, it does seem that the coming to India 
of Simon, who is so high in favour with the King, will be very 
seasonable. For he will come with authority from the King, 
either to found colleges or to assist the Christians both those 
that are so already, and those that would be, if there were any 
one to show them favour. I wish that you would write to Simon 
what you wish to be done in the matter ; for Antonio Gomez 

Letter to Ignatius. 73 

has told me that Simon has certainly made up his mind to come 
out to India with a great number of our people from Coimbra. 

Both at Rome and elsewhere you have no lack of men of 
our Society who are not given to preaching or to literature, and 
who might be of great advantage to religion out here if only 
they had sufficient experience, and if they were furnished with 
the other virtues necessary for helping the heathen, but espe 
cially with remarkable purity ; and if they had also consider 
able strength of body and mind, so as to bear the very great 
labours that have to be borne in these countries. So you must 
provide for us such workers according as seems good to you. 

You would also do a thing well worth your while, and which 
would, as I hope, be pleasing to God, if you would send out to 
us all of the Society who are in India a letter full of spiritual 
precepts, as a sort of will and testament by means of which you 
impart to the least of your children who are at such a distance 
from the sight of you, the riches and treasures which you have 
received from God. Do it at your leisure ; but I do beseech you 
some time or other grant us this favour. Enrico Enriquez, a 
Portuguese priest of our Society, a man of excellent virtue and 
good example, who is now in the Promontory of Comorin, 
writes and speaks the Malabar tongue very well indeed ; and 
so He alone works with great profit as if he were a great many. 
His sermons and private conversations have made him a mar 
vellous object of love and veneration to the native Christians. 
I beg of you to let such a man, so good, so laborious, so useful 
a worker in the vineyard of Christ, who bears the burthen and 
heat of the day, 11 have the consolation of a letter from yourself. 

There is a town called Cranganor, which belongs to the Por 
tuguese, about twenty miles from Cochin, where Era Vincenzo, 
of the most holy order of St. Francis, who is also socius to 
the Bishop of Goa, and a most true friend to our Society, has 
founded a really fine seminary, where quite as many as a hun 
dred native students are maintained and formed in piety and 
learning. In his goodwill towards our Society Era Vincenzo 
does not surpass the Bishop of Goa himself, who now has juris- 
11 Qui portat pondus did d astus. (Orig.) 

74 St. Francis Xavier. 

diction over the whole of India, who is very devoted to us, and 
who desires to have your friendship ; and so I should like you 
to write to him. But to return to Fra Vincenzo. He told me> 
out of the kindness which exists between us, that he wishes to 
intrust and hand over his seminary to our Society ; and he has 
asked me again and again to inform you of his intention, and 
to provide a priest of the Society who may teach grammar to- 
the students of this seminary, and preach to the inmates and to 
the people on Sundays and festivals. There is reason for this, 
because, besides the Portuguese inhabitants of the place, there 
are a great many Christians living in sixty villages in the neigh 
bourhood, descended from those whom St. Thomas made Chris 
tians. The students of the seminary are of the highest nobility. 

In this town there are two churches, one of St. Thomas, 
one of St. James. Fra Vincenzo, whom I have mentioned, 
hopes very much that you will get each of them a plenary in 
dulgence once a year from the Holy Father, on the feasts of 
St. Thomas and St. James, and the seven days after each. This 
would be to increase the piety of the natives who are descended 
from the converts of St. Thomas, and are called Christians of 
St. Thomas. And besides these indulgences, he expects you 
to send him a priest to be a master and preacher in the town. 
These boons will bind him so closely to us, that he will be our 
own devoted friend in life and after death. He has committed 
this business to me very urgently. I can t tell you how he longs 
for the indulgences. 

I will ask you one thing for myself: that some priest of ours 
may throughout the year say mass once a month for me at St. 
Pietro in Montorio, in the chapel where St. Peter the Apostle 
is said to have been crucified. I wish also that you would 
charge some one in the Gesii to write to us regularly and fully 
concerning the Colleges of the Society, the professed Fathers, 
their duties, and the work that the Society is doing and the 
fruit it is reaping. I have given orders at Goa that the letters 
from Rome be sent to Malacca, and that at Malacca they be 
copied and sent to me by many different hands to Japan. 

And now, father of my soul, whom I venerate with all my 

Letter to Ignatius. 75 

heart, I humbly pray you on my knees, for so it is that I write 
this letter, as if I had you here present to look upon, never to 
cease to implore God for me in your holy sacrifices and prayers, 
that as long as my life lasts He may give me the grace clearly 
to know and fully to carry out His own most holy Will. And 
I ask the rest of our brethren to be entreated to do the same 
for me. 

Your least and useless son, 

Cochin, Jan. 14, 1549. FRANCIS XAVIER. 

The account of himself and of Japan referred to in this letter, 
as given by Anger, now called Paul of the Holy Faith, is still 
extant, as it was preserved both at Rome and at Coimbra, 
though we are not aware that the documents have ever been 
printed. In the letter to Ignatius Anger gives a short history 
of his adventures and of the manner of his conversion. The 
substance of this history has been related in a former chapter. 
The other document, about Japan, is long and interesting, and, 
together with the statements made by Portuguese merchants 
trading with that country, must have formed the founda 
tion of all the knowledge possessed by Francis Xavier con 
cerning it until he landed on its shores. The most curious 
statement in the letter which has just been inserted is that about 
the place or university called Chinghinquo or, as it stands in 
the ordinary versions, Jenico from which the religions of 
Japan, and, as Francis tells us in the companion letter to Simon 
Rodriguez, of China and Tartary also, are said to be derived. 
This mysterious university has puzzled most of the editors of the 
letters of Francis Xavier. The most reasonable explanation of 
the matter is, we think, to be found in the account of Japan 
drawn up from Anger s statements, and sent to Europe, to which 
we have just now referred. In that account Anger gives the 
story of the origin of the religion in a country (tierra) beyond 
China towards the west, called Chinguinquo or Chenguinco, 
in which was born the holy prince Xaqua, whose history he 
then relates. This history is identical in all its main features 
with that of Sakya-mouni, the founder of Bhuddism, the more 

j6 St. Francis Xavier. 

salient points of whose doctrine and whose five precepts are 
given in the document. The scene of Sakya-mouni s history lies 
about the Ganges, but it may be doubted whether Anger s 
statement was founded upon anything more than the dim know 
ledge which he had that the religion of his country had come 
from the West. 

It may be observed also that Francis speaks in this, as in 
the following letter, of arrangements which he contemplated as 
if they were already made, considering, no doubt, the lapse of 
time which would intervene between the dispatch of his letter 
and its reception by Ignatius. No members of the Society 
were as yet at Socotra. The following letter is dated on the 
same day as the last. It must be remembered that Francis 
could only send letters at very long intervals, and that he pro 
bably wrote from time to time as he had leisure, and dated the 
letters when he was about to make up his packet. This next 
letter explains more fully his designs as to Socotra. The men 
tion of Antonio Criminale reminds us that we have said but 
little hitherto about this distinguished Father, who was in a 
very short time from this to be the first of the Society to receive 
the crown of martyrdom in the Indies. He was still in the flower 
of youth barely twenty-nine years of age. He was born in 
1520, near Parma, and it was at that city that in 1540 he fell 
under the spell which the fervent and gentle spirit of Pierre 
Lefevre threw over all who came near him. Lef evre had been 
sent to Parma in company of Laynez, and had given the Exer 
cises to a large number of persons, among whom was a good 
priest, Pezzani by name, a friend of the young Antonio, whom 
he brought to Pierre Lefevre. Antonio made the Exercises, 
and put himself entirely under Pierre s direction. The next 
year he went to Rome alone and on foot, as a pilgrim, and was 
received by Ignatius into the house of the Society on probation. 
He was about to be admitted, when his mother died, and his 
father called him home. Ignatius advised him to go, and he so 
won on his father by his holy, devout, unworldly manners after 
his return, that in a few days he obtained his consent to his 
entering the Society ; and he set out again on foot to beg his 

Letter to Ignatius. 77 

way to Rome, leaving behind him a wonderful increase of fer 
vour and piety among his brothers and sisters. He was received 
into the Society in April 1542, and at once ordained sub- 
deacon. Then he was sent, with six other young men, one of 
whom was the well-known Pedro Ribadineira, the sportive, 
boisterous boy, who was a sort of spoiled child to Ignatius, on 
a long pilgrimage, which was to lead some of them to Paris for 
their studies, others, among whom was Antonio, as far as Coim- 
bra. He was ordained Priest in 1544, and came to India in 
1545, with Don Joam de Castro, as has already been stated. 
Having been so much at Rome, he was well known to Ignatius, 
and this will explain the special mention made of him in the 
following letter. Moreover, Ignatius had just admitted him to 
his last vows, and we have still Antonio s letter of thanks to him 
for this favour, dated a few weeks before the letter of Francis 
Xavier, with which it was probably enclosed. 

(LXIV.) To the Rev. Father Master Ignatius of Loyola, 
General of the Society of Jesus, Rome. 

May the peace and charity of Christ our Lord be always 
with us ! Amen. 

My own and only Father in the Heart of Jesus Christ, I 
have written to you three letters almost in the same words and 
at great length, which I have committed to the care of M. 
Simon. Antonio Criminale, with six others of the Society, is 
in the Promontory of Comorin. He is in truth, believe me, a 
holy man a man made for work in these countries ; and as 
you have many in Europe like him, I want you to send a good 
number of such out here. He is Superior of the others in the 
Comorin mission. He is wonderfully dear to the native Chris 
tians and to the heathen and Mussulmans, and I can hardly tell 
you how the fathers and brethren under him love him. Father 
Cipriano, who already suffers from old age, is to go to the 
island of Socotra ; he is to leave at the end of January, and will 
take with him three of ours one priest, the rest lay brothers. 
Socotra is an island about a hundred miles round, all its inha- 

78 St. Francis Xavier. 

bitants are Christians, but such as have hardly anything Chris 
tian but the name, as many years ago they were deprived of 
Catholic priests. They say that they are descended from the 
Christians converted by St. Thomas the Apostle. I am in 
hopes that by the labours of Cipriano and the others they will 
come to better things. The island is very poor in crops and 
provisions ; a rough place enough and full of troubles. And 
yet Cipriano, who is already sixty years old, is going there 
with great goodwill, full of confidence that he may do a good 
work for God there, and at the same time do penance for the 
faults of his youth. Although at first he alleged the excuse ot 
his declining age, which is not able to bear much labour, yet 
he directly afterwards declared that he would go without any 
difficulty at all if there were need. Niccolo Lancilotti, although 
an invalid, is now better, and is at Coulan, a town of a good 
salubrious air, about eighty miles from Cochin. He is there at 
the head of the foundation of a College. 

And indeed a great many Colleges of the Society would be 
started in these parts if Master Simon (as I have already said 
in a letter to you) \yere to be sent out with great powers from 
the King, and bring with him a large number of the Society, of 
whom six or seven should be preachers, and many fit for hear 
ing confessions, giving spiritual exercises, receiving heathen 
into the Church, and all of whom should be men of selfcom- 
mand and experience in affairs. I have also written to the 
King concerning Master Simon, that his Highness may send 
him with power not only to begin Colleges, but also to confer 
favours on the native Christians and the heathen, whom ever so 
little an amount of favour would make willing converts to 

I send you the Japanese characters. The Japanese write 
in a very different manner from other nations, beginning at the 
top of the page and writing straight downwards to the bottom. 
I asked Paul the Japanese why they did not write as we do ? 
* Why, rather, said he, do not you write as we do ? The head 
of a man is at the top and his feet at the bottom, and so it is 
proper that when men write it should be straight down from 

Letter to the King. 79 

top to bottom. I also send you an account of Japan, and of 
the manners of the natives, which Paul has given me. He is 
a very religious and trustworthy man. Two months hence I 
shall sail for Japan with Father Cosmo Torres, Paul, and two 
other Japanese, if God so will. When I am there I will write 
you an account of what their books contain, for I cannot get 
at this from Paul, who was a layman, and so never had any ac 
quaintance with the literary monuments of Japan, which are in 
a sort of different language, like books written in Latin among 
ourselves. May Jesus our Lord teach us to do His will, 12 and 
after we have passed through the troubles of this life, bring us 
into His blessed and eternal home ! Amen. 
Cochin, Jan. 14, 1549. 

The letter to the king, mentioned just above, must have been 
different from that which we are next to insert, which is written 
with even more than usual freedom and severity of language. 
Some persecution had probably been raging in Ceylon against 
the new Christians, and the inveterate evil of a conflict of in 
terests and objects between the king s officers and the Francis 
can missionaries had produced the usual result of the frustra 
tion of the work of the latter. We are not told whether the 
king spoken of was the Rajah of Candy, or the Rajah of Jafana- 
patam. The Franciscan Superior seems to have made up his 
mind to go to Europe himself to plead the cause of religion 
with the King. His name has already been mentioned in the 
letter of Francis to the King, written the year before this. 

(LXV.) To John HI. King of Portugal. 

I do not write to your Highness all the calumnies, wrongs, 
and vexations with which the recent converts to our holy reli 
gion out here are harassed and oppressed. The Father Fra 
Joam of Villa da Conde, who is on his way to you, will give 
your Highness a full and most true account of everything of 
this sort, and will put the whole matter, as it were, before your 

12 Doceat nos facerc voluntatcm suam. (Orig. ) 

8o St. Francis Xavier. 

very eyes. He is a man to whom your Highness owes very 
many thanks for the great and innumerable labours which he 
has undergone in these countries of India in the service of God 
and of your Highness, to make more easy for you the account 
which the conscience and duty of your Highness exacts from you 
before God. But in measuring the deserts of Father Fra Joam, 
I would have your Highness take into consideration not only 
the exertions, the sufferings, the long watchings, and other 
bodily troubles, however many, great, and continuous they may 
have been, which he has had to undergo. All these things are 
mere child s play and sport when compared with the distress of 
mind, the terrible torments which have torn his soul to pieces, 
in seeing with his own eyes, and without any power to prevent 
it in any way, how the Commandants of your Highness s forts 
and the Procurator of your revenues savagely plunder and ra 
vage and make a prey of these most miserable neophytes, these 
tender babes in the faith of Jesus Christ which they have only just 
adopted, and whom on that account these same Christian offi 
cers, who subject them to every vexation, ought rather to have 
cherished and to have loaded with every benefit. Believe me, 
Sire, this kind of heart pang is bitterest of all, far more than all 
the pains of the body ; it is indeed, so to speak, a very dread 
ful kind of martyrdom, more terrible than any torture which 
tyrants can inflict, to be forced to keep still and be patient 
when you see destroyed in one moment, by the fault of others, 
all the good that had almost been brought to its final crown 
and consummation by most strenuous exertions and most pain 
ful perseverance of yourself and others, continued during a 
long space of time. 

We have heard it reported here as certain, that the King of 
Ceylon is sending some very precious presents to your High 
ness, in return for the many great benefits which he daily re 
ceives from you. Now let your Highness understand as an 
undoubted fact, that in this man a most fierce and bitter enemy 
of Christ reigns in Ceylon, and, what it is almost a crime to 
say, is authorized and furnished with arms for injuring the cause 
of Christ and for oppressing our religion as much as he can, by 

Letter to the King. 

no power on earth more than by the favour and the gifts he 
receives from your Highness. These things are as true as truth 
itself. Your Highness and others will not perhaps like to hear 
them, and I certainly write them with very great reluctance, 
especially as I fear that I shall have done so to no purpose ; 
and when we who are here form our conjectures as to the future 
from the experience of the past, there is very great reason for 
us to fear that after this it will be as it has been hitherto, and 
that your Highness will show greater favour to that declared 
and bloody enemy of Jesus Christ of whom I speak than to 
the religious priests who are working for Christianity in Ceylon. 
When people see these things going on before their eyes, the 
clear evident facts sometimes prompt them to free speeches 
about you, which, Sire, with your good leave, I will here insert. 
They say that your Highness does not use your imperial power 
in India for the enlargement of the Kingdom of Christ, but 
only for the purpose of scraping together riches and securing 
for yourself, and those who belong to you, human and temporal 
advantages alone. 

I pray your Highness to pardon me if I put things as they 
are, so clearly and without circumlocution; for I am compelled 
to do this by my sincere and true love for your Highness, and 
the desire which I have for your eternal salvation. I seem to 
myself to hear the sentence of God at the great Judgment 
Day giving out His decree, or rather declaring then to all what 
He has before decreed at your last moment, when you die ; 
the stern necessity of which moment no one however powerful 
can avoid, no one, either by artifice of his own or the work of 
any one whatsoever, is able to escape. Nor, I beseech you, let 
your Highness think much of those commands, many and grave 
as they are, which you piously and with such fair show are in 
the habit of inserting in your royal letters to the Governor, the 
Commandants, and the other officials in India, ordering that 
before all things else care be taken for religion, and favour be 
shown to the Christians ; for I, Sire, who am on the spot to 
see things as they really are here, am clearly convinced that no 
hope remains of any true and serious obedience being ever 


82 St. Francis Xavier. 

paid to these commands. And on this account it is one, and 
not the least, of the reasons why I intend to go to Japan, that 
I may fly away to those islands in the extreme East, and there 
labour for God with greater usefulness than has been possible 
to me hitherto. 

Father Fra Joam takes with him, in order to be communi 
cated to your Highness, certain statements concerning the un 
happy Christians of the Comorin Coast. I beg your Highness 
to have some pity upon them, and not to think it too much 
trouble to be a father to them ; for they are indeed fatherless, 
on account of the late death of Miguel Vaz, in whom they have 
lost a most excellent and a most true father. 

It is now five and forty years that a certain Armenian 
Bishop, by name Abuna Jacob, has served God and your High 
ness in this country. He is a man who is about as dear to God 
on account of his virtue and holiness as he is neglected and 
despised by your Highness, and in general by all who have any 
power in India. God thus rewards his great deserts Himself, 
and does not think us worthy of the honour of being the in 
struments whom He uses to console His servants. The Fran 
ciscan Fathers alone take care of him, and show him kindness 
to which nothing can be added. But for this, the good old 
man would long ago have breathed out his soul, worn out by 
affliction. Allow me, Sire, to advise what I think would be 
well. I would very much recommend your Highness to order 
a letter to be written in your name to this good Bishop in kind 
and honourable terms, and to let an order which may be shown 
to the Governors and Procurators, your officers, be inserted in 
the same letter, enjoining on them, and especially on the Com 
mandant of Cochin, to show him honour, give him hospitality, 
and treat him with favour and attention, especially whenever he 
asks for or is in need of anything. While I have been writing 
this I have seemed to myself to be serving and doing a favour, 
not so much to that pious Bishop as to your Highness. For at 
present, from the charity of the Franciscan Fathers, he wants 
for nothing, while your Highness is very greatly in want of the 
goodwill and intercession of a man very acceptable to God 

Letter to the King. 83 

as he is, and this benefit you will be able to earn by such an 
act of kindness as I mention. This Bishop very greatly de 
serves such treatment on this account if on no other that he 
has spent much labour in attending to the Christians of St. 
Thomas, and now in his all but decrepit old age he conforms 
himself most obediently to all the rites and customs of our holy 
Mother the Roman Church. I know that your Highness is in 
the habit of writing to the Franciscan Fathers, and this letter to 
the Armenian Bishop might be inserted in the same packet ; 
and I would urge your Highness to write it full of all manner 
of expressions of your favour, esteem and affection for him. 

And now may God our Lord impress deeply on the mind 
of your Highness a clear knowledge of His most holy will, and 
may He at the same time supply you with strength and give 
you His holy assistance, that you may fully and perfectly exe 
cute the same in such wise as your Highness would rejoice to 
have done in the final hour of death, when, Sire, you will have 
to give to God an account of all your life up to that time! That 
moment, which will decide on your eternity, will come more 
quickly than your Highness thinks, and so it is well to take 
measures in good time that you may go to meet it well pre 
pared. Kingdoms and reigns pass away, and after them will 
succeed a new and most unexpected aspect of affairs, such as 
never yet came into the mind of your Highness, not even in 
thought or in the first beginnings of suspicion. For you will 
see yourself despoiled by death of your kingdom, cast out from 
all your possessions, and thrust forth into other realms, far 
different from these realms of terror and darkness, into which it 
will be a very hard and a very bitter lot to be banished after 
having been torn away from those others of your own : more 
especially if what God avert ! you were to be sentenced to 
remain outside Paradise, and to be denied all hope of ever en 
tering there. 

Your Highness s useless servant, 

Cochin, Jan. 26, 1549. FRANCIS. 

The next letter which remains to us seems probably made 
up of more than one despatched to Simon Rodriguez by the 

84 St. Francis Xavier. 

same ship which took the letters to the King and to Igna 
tius. At least, the copy of the letter preserved in the College 
at Coimbra ends with the paragraph at p. 90 about Fra Vin- 
cenzo and Cranganor. We shall speak in the next chapter of 
the final arrangements made by Francis as to the posts and 
employments of the members of the Society before he left India, 
and need here only repeat the remark that neither the mission 
of Cipriano to Socotra, nor that of Antonio Gomez to Ormuz, of 
which place we now hear for the first time in these letters, really 
took effect. The rest of the letter needs no explanation. 

(LXVI.) To Master Simon Rodriguez,. 

I can find no words, my dearest Brother Simon, enough tO 
express the amount of joy which the arrival of Antonio Gomez 
and the others who came with him caused me. I must tell you 
that they are making great progress in piety, and that by the 
good example of their lives, by the sermons they preach, by 
the confessions they hear, by the meditations they give, and by 
their private conversations, they advance the interests of re 
ligion wonderfully, and every one is exceedingly pleased with 
them. There is indeed much need of such excellent men of 
our Society out here, especially in the city of Ormuz and in 
the town of Diu, places which want good preachers much more 
than Goa itself, so great is the number of Portuguese who are- 
there living in a way altogether degenerate from -Christian rules 
and laws. So, in order to meet the necessity, I have deter 
mined to send to Ormuz Antonio Gomez, a man highly gifted 
with powers of preaching and doing other kinds of work of our 
Society. Master Caspar will remain in the College of Santa Fe. 
You will most certainly gain great favour with God if you 
come out to India with as many as may be of the Society, 
bringing seven or eight good preachers with you, and other 
men of much experience and moderation. There is no such 
great need of much learning for the conversion of the heathen, 
for the people in these countries are very barbarous and ignor 
ant, so that men even of moderate learning may do very ser- 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez, 85 

viceable work for God out here, provided they are men ofgreaf 
virtue and strength. In all the towns in India where we could 
place a preacher of our Society with another priest to help him 
in hearing confessions and doing the other functions of our 
Society, it would be possible to have a house of the Society for 
the sake of educating the children of the Portuguese and of the 

I have written to our Father Ignatius to give you leave to 
come, and also to the King to send you to India with a large 
company of our Society and with great authority from himself. 
If this shall come about, you may believe me that your coming 
will be of much greater advantage to religion than you think. 
Another thing about which I have written to the King, is to get 
him to provide for the children of the Portuguese whose parents 
have lost their lives in his service and left their children orphans 
and poor. For no one thinks of paying them the salaries and 
sustenance which are owing to their parents. So that it would 
not be out of the way to found some colleges in India where 
orphans of this sort might not only be supported, but also edu 
cated. And as the King is bound also to look after the welfare 
of the natives, it would be for the interests of religion to give 
orders that the children of native Christians in certain places 
should have the Catechism taught them. So I am writing to 
his Highness to assign, if it seems good to him, about five thou 
sand gold pieces out of the revenue of Bazain for the opening 
of a house of this kind. I hope confidently that the King, 
with the good help of God, will do all these things by means 
of your coming out. 

I have lately heard of the country of Japan, which lies be 
yond China more than six hundred miles. They tell us that 
the inhabitants are very clever, very desirous of learning not 
only religious truth, but also the natural truths which are a part 
of education. The Portuguese who have come back from 
Japan tell us this, and indeed it is proved well enough by cer 
tain Japanese themselves, who last year came with me from 
Malacca to India, and have lately been made Christians at 
Goa, in the College of Santa Fe. You will be able to see this 

86 St. Francis Xavicr. 

well enough yourself from the account of Japanese matters 
which we have sent you, which we got from Paul the Japanese, 
who is called Paul of the Holy Faith, a man really of very ex 
cellent virtue and perfect truthfulness. He is writing to you 
about himself and his affairs, and the benefits which God 
has bestowed upon him. So in the month of April next I in 
tend to go to Japan with Cosmo Torres, a priest of our Society ; 
for I am persuaded that the Christian religion will be propa 
gated in those parts far and wide ; add to this, that here I am 
doing nothing, and am not wanted, since, on account of our 
brethren who have come out this year, my work is by no means 
necessary to the Indians, more especially as in a short time you 
are either coming out yourself, or going to send out some one 
else in your place with a large body of our Society. I do hope 
very much that you will come yourself. I also think that just at 
your arrival I shall have reached Japan, and you will set things 
in good order here according to what I say in these letters, 
and then if God, as I hope, gives me a favourable opportunity 
of doing some good work in Japan, we shall see one another 
again at Goa. 

Then as time goes on, a great many of our Society, by the 
good help of God, will penetrate into China, and from China 
into that famous University of Chinghinquo, which lies beyond 
China and Cathay. For Paul tells me that all the Chinese, the 
Japanese, and the Tartars get their religion from the city of 
Chinghinquo. The religion of Japan is contained in certain 
recondite books which the common people know nothing of, just 
as Latin books are not known to them among ourselves. Fo? 
this reason Paul, who is a private person and knows nothing at 
all about the literature, says he has nothing to tell us about the 
religious doctrines of the country. When I get there, if God so- 
wills, I will write to you at full length what these sacred books 
of theirs contain. My plan is, as soon as I arrive in Japan, to go 
to the king himself and the principal seats of learning, which are 
to be found in the royal cities ; and when I have made myself 
well acquainted with all these matters, I intend to write what I 
have found out, not only to India, but to the Universities of 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez.. 87 

Portugal, of Italy, and above all of Paris, and admonish them, 
while they are devoting themselves heart and soul to learned 
studies, not to think themselves so free and disengaged from 
responsibility as to take no trouble at all about the ignorance 
of the heathen and the loss of their immortal souls. 

Pedro Gonsalvi, the Vicar of Cochin, who is a very great 
friend of our Society, is writing to commend to you some affairs 
of his own. I pray and beseech you not to fail to do all that 
you can in his case, both as regards the King and as regards 
the benefits which he asks for the Christians who form his 
people. You may be quite sure that he is a true and genuine 
friend of the Society ; he takes into his own house with the ut 
most kindness all of ours who have to be at Cochin. Another 
thing I want you to get eight or ten casks of wine for the Fathers 
at Goa, and those who are dispersed over the whole East, to 
be used at mass. Wine is very necessary out here ; but it is 
not only very dear but also extremely scarce. Our Fathers at 
Malacca, at Cape Comorin, at Socotra, and in the Moluccas 
have no wine for the holy Sacrifice except what is brought 
from India. The Bishop of Goa and the Franciscan Fathers 
have wine furnished them at the public expense from Portugal ; 
and in the same way the King ought to assign a quantity of 
wine to the College of Santa Fe, whence it may be sent to the 
other Fathers. 

Father Cipriano is to go this year to the island of Socotra 
with one priest and two lay brothers. In that island there is a 
certain Mussulman lord who has gained supreme power by 
violence and rules against all the laws of justice and right. He 
cruelly oppresses and persecutes the Christian inhabitants ; he 
takes their children from them and makes them Mahometans, 
besides overwhelming the parents themselves with infinite ills 
and troubles. I wish you very much to urge the King, in his 
great desire to protect religion, to do something at last in the 
way of looking after these Christians. He can do it without 
any expense and with no trouble, if he will give orders to his 
fleet on its way to the Indian seas to put down the Mussul 
mans, who are really weak. The inhabitants have had all their 

St. Francis Xavicr. 

arms taken from them, and are oppressed by the yoke of a very 
severe bondage ; and so they hate the very name of the Mus 
sulmans. So I pray you, by Jesus Christ our Lord, to interfere 
in favour of the liberty of those Socotrians, since they are really 
in a state of such unjust slavery. The whole aspect of the 
island is really wretched. Some years ago, when I was on my 
way to these parts, the lot of the inhabitants moved my pity 
very much, so cruelly are they persecuted by the Arabs, who 
have the command of the seas. The whole matter, as I say, 
can be settled with no expense, at the simple command of the 
King. Alfonso Souza, who was formerly Governor of India, 
can give abundant testimony to what I say, as he has seen all 
these things with his own eyes. 

I have sent Manuel Vaz 13 back to Goa, thinking it not best 
to let him return to Portugal. After seeing Antonio Gomez at 
Goa, I have thought it better to make Master Caspar Rector of 
the College ; so that Antonio may be freed from all care, and 
be able to give himself entirely to preaching, hearing the con 
fessions of the people, and giving the Spiritual Exercises. He 
has much more facility for these things than for government, 
especially as Caspar is very good in bearing the burthen of the 
administration of the house. Give orders, I beseech you, that 
every year some of the Society are sent out hither after you, 
and let most of them be priests. Write also to Rome and to 
all places where the Society exists, that they may send to 
Coimbra some priests of great experience and noted virtue, 
who, not being highly gifted with learning or powers of speak 
ing so as to be fit for preaching, or not being very useful in 
Europe for the work which is done in our Colleges, will be of 
great use out here in the conversion of the heathen. For al 
though they may do a certain amount of good where they are, 
yet their industry will certainly be much more fruitful in good 
out here. If there are any besides who have completed their 

3 The text has Michael, or Miguel, but it is a mistake, founded on the 
similarity of the name of the late Vicar. Manuel Vaz was a lay brother, 
who seems to have lost his vocation. He had come to India the year be 
fore this. 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez. 89 

course at Coimbra, I think you should send them hither to us 
for the same reason. I entreat you, do not permit it to happen 
that any year should pass without our having a supply of the 
Society sent out. Those who are now at the College of Goa 
have not yet sufficient experience, learning, and virtue for the 
conversion of the heathen. 

At Bazain the King, at the request of Miguel Vaz, who was 
formerly the Vicar General of India, allotted three thousand 
gold pieces for the building of a house in which the children of 
the native Christians were to be instructed. It is thought here 
that the King wished the administration of that house to be 
-committed to our Society ; for eight or nine of our Society, and 
six Franciscans, came out with Miguel from Portugal. But 
Miguel landed the Franciscans at Bazain, and gave to them, to 
distribute and dispense, the money which the King at the re 
quest of the Governor Joam de Castro had assigned for the 
conversion of the heathen. I went lately to Bazain to arrange 
some affairs for the Christians of the Moluccas, and had some 
conversation with the Franciscans. They are reduced to a very 
small number, and again and again begged me to send thither 
some one of the Society who might provide necessaries for the 
converts out of the money so assigned, and might also admin 
ister the Seminary ; so I left Melchior Gonsalvez there with a 

Now that Miguel Vaz and Fra Diego de Borba are lately 
dead, the management of the College at Goa has come to 
Cosmo Joam, who, having undertaken the care of the revenues 
and of the completion of the building, found himself so much 
occupied by business of the King s, that since the arrival of 
Antonio Gomez he has made over the charge of the College 
altogether to the Society. It is now the proper time that the 
cession should be confirmed by royal authority. I would have 
you get a diploma issued, and bring it with you to India. 

There is a town of the King s called Cranganor, fifteen 
miles from Cochin. There there is a fine College, which was 
built by Fra Vincenzo, the companion of the Bishop, where as 
:many as a hundred youths, children of the native Christians, 

go St. Francis Xavier. 

who are called Christians of St. Thomas, are educated; for 
there are sixty villages of these Christians of St. Thomas around 
the town, and from them the students I speak of are derived. 
If you ask what sort of a place it is, it looks really very hand 
some, whether as regards the site or the elevation of the build 
ing itself. Fra Vincenzo has done a wonderful work in these 
parts. He is extremely friendly to me and to our whole So 
ciety. He assures me that he is taking measures to leave the 
administration of the College in our hands when he dies. He 
is very urgent in asking for a priest of our Society, well versed 
in grammar, to teach the pupils and to preach to the people on 
festival days. We must do as he wishes ; and I beseech you 
to send out such a priest as he wants who may do just as he 
tells him in everything. 

At Cranganor there are two churches ; one of St. Thomas,, 
which is very piously frequented by the Christians of St. Thomas, 
and another of St. James, adjoining the College. Fra Vincenzo- 
wishes very much that Indulgences should be obtained for both 
these churches, to be a consolation for these Christians and 
to increase piety. So I beg you very much to procure, either 
through our people at Rome or through the Pontifical Nuncia 
at Lisbon, a yearly plenary Indulgence for each, beginning from, 
the Vigil of St. James and the Vigil of St. Thomas respectively r 
and lasting for the eight following days. I would have this In 
dulgence offered only to those who may have duly approached 
the Sacraments of Penance and holy Communion, and then 
piously and devoutly visited these churches at Cranganor. If 
you will manage these two petitions which I have made to you 
m the name of Fra Vincenzo, and if at the same time you send 
him a kind and obliging letter, you may be sure that you will 
bind him to yourself and to the Society for ever. I also beg 
of you again and again to write in the same way to the Bishop, 
who is a very great lover of our Society. 

I have written to the King to ask him to make a certain 
priest, Estevan Luis Buralho by name, a chaplain of his High 
ness. I have done this not so much for his own sake as be 
cause he has some sisters who are orphans and poor, and if 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez. 91 

their brother is looked upon with honour as having a post in 
the King s Court he will easily be able to find husbands for 
his sisters. In making marriages out here there is a great de 
sire for connection with men of good family who are in favour 
with the King ; so if you manage this, you will have safely 
provided for three orphan girls. The mother of this priest is 
married again to Gonsalvo Fernando Concinati, and her son 
desires to gain favour at Court in order to make his stepfather 
also a good friend to himself and his sisters. He desires there 
fore that the King should make this stepfather one of his own 
honorary Chamberlains, without salary, and he persuades him 
self that if he becomes one of the Court in this way, he will 
treat himself and his sisters with the love of a father. 

The Franciscans are all our best possible friends, but par 
ticularly the Guardiano Antonio Casali. He will finish his- 
turn of Superior in two years, and wishes very much to return 
to Portugal ; so I beg of you to get him letters and faculties 
from the King, enabling him to go back as soon as his time is 
over, for he is now in his fifth year out here, working for God 
and the King. 

Father Niccolo Lancilotti, whom I have sent to Coulan for 
the sake of his health, is getting better every day. He is a 
man just exactly made to please the people there. There is 
now a talk of establishing a College there, for the instruction 
first of the children of the Portuguese, and in the second place 
of the Christians of Comorin and of St. Thomas. The people 
of the town are not very numerous, and are badly off, so that 
they cannot even begin a seminary of themselves. I have 
written about the business to the King, showing him of what 
great advantage to religion such a College would be. Please 
to get the King to send orders to the Governor of India and 
to his own Procurator to build the house at the public expense^ 
and to build it large in size, so that many orphans both of Por 
tuguese and native parents may be supported there. Coulan 
is a place where all things are very plentiful and very cheap, 
so that at no great expense a very large number of students 
might be supported. 

92 St. Francis Xavier. 

If you come hither yourself, my dearest brother Simon, 
your coming will certainly be very greatly for the benefit of 
the Christian religion and also for your own delight, but this is 
all provided that you come armed with authority from the 
King both to advance the worship of God and relieve the na 
tive Christians. So I admonish you again, to come richly sup 
ported by the King and the Queen that you may keep the com 
mandants and royal treasurers to their duty ; that will be the 
one way for you to do service to India and the worship of 
Christ greater than any one would ever expect. 

I have received joyful news from Malacca, as to the good 
work done by Francesco Perez and Rocco Oliveira for religion. 
You will learn all from their own letters. We have also the 
best of news from the Moluccas. Joam Beira and his com 
panions are working under great hardships and in perpetual 
danger of life, to the great increase of the Christain faith. The 
report spread about concerning the murder of Beira seems, to 
me at least, to have nothing in it. Only a little before the 
time named he wrote me a most diligent account of all that he 
was doing, all his trials and dangers. After the ships left 
Ternate his companions wintered for three months at Am- 
boyna. Meanwhile Joam Beira came to Ternate from the 
Maurica to the commandant, to ask him to send a force of 
Portuguese to help the Christians there. On his return thither 
from Ternate, it is said that something very sad happened to 
him, but I can find nothing about it either in any letters that 
have come or upon any good authority. However, I can affirm 
for certain, that those who love God and their neighbour are 
tried out there, like gold in the furnace. I do not know whe 
ther anywhere else in the whole Christian world those who 
serve God and work for the salvation of souls have so many 
labours and so many and so great dangers of death to try their 
virtue, as in that land of the Maurica. I wish you to pray God 
for those of ours who have gone there, and for those who are 
to go, for I have determined shortly to send two or three of 
our Society. It is my opinion that those islands of the Moor 
will give many martyrs to our Society, and they will soon have 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez. 93 

to be called not islands of the Moor but islands of Martyrdom. 
So those of ours who desire to give their lives for Christ may 
be of good heart and rejoice, for they have now a training place 
of martyrdom ready to their hands where they may satisfy their 

The voyage to Japan and China, as all people warn me, is 
very full of sufferings and dangers. I have as yet had no ex 
perience of it, but when I have made it I shall sail, as I think, in 
about two months and a half from this I will write you word 
all about that and everything else. So when you come to India, 
with the goodwill of God, next year, as I suppose, you will re 
ceive letters from me from Japan. Nunez Ribera is at Am- 
boyna, in a very safe town where there are a great many Chris 
tians ; I understand from his letters that he is working with very 
good fruit. The two of ours who are in the Comorin Promon 
tory are of great service to religion. You will be able to un 
derstand this well enough from their own letters which I send 
on to you, in which they tell you fully all that they are doing. 
It has pleased God to call our dear and very sweet brother 
Adam Francesco out of this life to Himself, to give him the 
reward of his many and great labours here. His death answered 
to his life, and that, as far as I have heard from others and as I 
saw myself, was rich in holiness. He was a very pious man, 
and had a great and burning zeal for bringing heathen to the 
flock of Christ. I commend myself to his prayers far more than 
I commend him in mine to God, for I hold it for certain that 
lie is now enjoying the bliss for which he was born. 

I am now on my way to Goa, to prepare myself a good time 
for my voyage to Japan next April. I shall go from Goa to 
Cambaia to the Governor of India, Avho is now at Bazain, that 
he may make arrangements for the interests of the Christians 
in the Moluccas, and provide for those of our Society whom I 
am soon going to send thither. One of these will be a preacher 
who may remain in the royal town, and preside over the com 
mencement of a college where the children of the Christians of 
the Mauricas and of the Portuguese may be taught. Another 
house will also be begun there, where the orphan children 


St. Francis Xavier. 

of Portuguese, as well as with the Japanese whom by God s 
favour I shall send there, will be taught the Christian religion. 
And as our people in India are beloved and acceptable not only 
to the Bishop and his clergy, but also to the religious and all 
others, Christians and heathen alike, I am strongly induced to 
hope that our Society may be spread far and wide in these coun 

So do you, my dearest brother Simon, make it your business 
to come out hither as soon as possible with great forces of our 
Society, partly preachers, partly also workers in other ways. 
Only avoid one thing not to bring many young men, for out 
here we want men of from thirty up to forty years of age ; men 
moreover adorned with all other virtues, but especially with 
humility, meekness, patience, and above all, purity. You know 
my old bad habit, that when I write to you I can never leave 
off. Well, this of itself ought to be enough to make you see 
what pleasure I take in such an occupation, but especially 
when I have set myself down to write after having been chal 
lenged to do so by letters from you. So now I will end, though 
it is hard to know where to stop. But I do hope that some 
day or other we shall see one another again, in China or in 
Japan, or at all events in heaven, where, as I hope we have 
alike been called by the singular bounty and gift of God into 
a share of His celestial kingdom, we shall enjoy God the ever 
lasting Fountain of all good things for ever and for ever ! Amen. 

Cochin, Jan. 28, 1549. 

The next letters, the last sent to Europe at this time which 
remain to us, are letters of recommendation ; but Francis breaks 
out, as of old, about what was nearest to his own heart, when 
writing to his most familiar friend, Simon Rodriguez. The mer 
chants who arrived at Cochin from Malacca just at the same 
time of the year as Francis himself of the year before, had 
brought him the good news from Malacca of the progress of re 
ligion, which is mentioned in the letter last printed. 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez. 95 

(LXVII.) To Master Simon Rodriguez. 

May the grace and love of Christ our Lord also help and 
favour us ! Amen. 

Do not be surprised that I write to you so often. There 
are a great many here who are going to Portugal, and ask me 
for letters to take to you ; and I am very glad to seize every 
opportunity of talking with you, and indeed I am so bold as 
to trust that what I feel so much fruit to my own soul in writ 
ing will not be read by you without pleasure, on account of the 
love that is between us. 

The persons who will deliver to you this letter are two hon 
ourable and good men, excellent Christians, inhabitants of the 
city of Malacca, where they have their house and families. 
Their reason for their voyage is, that they have to discharge 
certain duties and obligations to which they were bound. They 
will tell you a great deal about the city of Malacca, about the 
labours of our Fathers there, and about the fruit which results 
from those labours. All these things they are perfectly well 
acquainted with, as being eye witnesses of all. 

They take with them also letters from Father Francis Perez, 
in which I imagine he has done as he promised to do, that is, 
given a long, clear, and minute account of the results with which 
the functions proper to our Institute are there carried on. They 
will also tell you about the affairs of China and Japan, for they 
have been a long time at a place which lies so conveniently for 
traffic with those parts and countries that the people there know 
best of all what goes on in them. They say that all my friends 
and acquaintances wonder at me very much for trusting myself 
to so long and dangerous a voyage. I wonder much more at 
their little faith. Our Lord God has in His power the tempests 
of the Chinese and Japanese seas, which they say are as violent 
as any others anywhere in the whole world. To His power 
all the winds are subject, all the rocks and the whirlpools and 
the quicksands and shoals, which they say are to be found in 

g6 Sf. Francis Xavier. 

those seas in such great numbers, so dangerous, so sadly fam 
ous for the shipwrecks they have caused. He also holds in His 
sway all the pirates of whose numberless hordes they tell us, 
and who are exceedingly savage and are wont to put to death 
with exquisite tortures all whom they take prisoners, and espe 
cially all Portuguese. And as this our Lord God has all these 
things under His dominion, I fear nothing from any of them. 
I only fear God Himself, lest He should decree some just chas 
tisement upon me on account of my negligence in His service, 
and because I am by fault of my own unfit and useless for the 
work of advancing the Kingdom and Name of His Son Jesus 
Christ among the nations who know them not. Except this, 
I fear nothing, and I count as naught all those other causes of 
fear, dangers, labours, and the like, which my timid friends vie 
with one another in pressing upon me as so very formidable. 
I laugh at them all in full security, and the simple fear of God 
alone extinguishes in me all fear of His creatures; for I know 
that they can hurt no one, except those to whom and as far as 
their Creator allows them to be causes of trouble. 

But to return to our two friends. I pray you for all the 
regard you have for the love and service of our Lord God, that 
for the few days during which they are to be at Lisbon you 
take care of them tenderly, see that they are provided with a 
convenient lodging, and help them in all things according to 
your ability and their requirements. And when you have heard 
all the many things that they will have to tell you about India, 
and you send them back with their business all finished, then 
be careful to give them long and accurate letters to carry to 
us, informing us all about all the fathers and brothers of our 
Society who are in Italy, France, the Low Countries, Germany, 
Castile, and Aragon, and in particular about that blessed College 
of Coimbra which is so dear to me. These letters you should 
direct, I think, to our Fathers at Malacca. The original will be 
given to them by these two citizens of Malacca on their return 
home, and will be kept there, and copies of them will be sent to 
us from the port of Malacca whence many ships sail yearly for 
China and Japan by such a number of ways, that they will 

Letter of Introduction. 97 

reach us by some one of them at least which will escape all 
accidents. May our Lord God bring us together in His holy 
glory in Paradise ! Amen. 

Your most devoted and loving brother in Christ, 

Feb. i, 1549. FRANCIS. 

The other letter of introduction shows us a little more of 
the manner in which Francis was always trying to lead those 
who applied to him for any favour to look after the concerns 
of their soul as well as their temporal interests. It also gives 
the first hint of what afterwards exercised an important influence 
on his schemes and movements an increased vigilance and 
severity on the part of the Chinese government as to the ex 
clusion of foreigners, especially Portuguese, from their ports. 

(LXVIII.) To Master Simon Rodriguez. 

May the grace and love of Christ our Lord always help and 
favour us ! Amen. 

The person who will deliver this letter to you is a man with 
whom I have a certain amount of acquaintance. He is going 
to Portugal in order to ask the King for a reward for some ser 
vice which he has done to the state, and has urgently pressed 
me to give him letters of recommendation to you as to that 
business. Now I am quite aware, and I have not concealed 
from my friend himself, that it would be much more profit 
able to employ himself in another branch of the art of petition 
ing applying, that is, to God, and obtaining from Him the par 
don of his sins than to go supplicating from a mortal king an 
earthly reward for his merits and good deeds. But it was not 
possible to persuade him, at least here, to give up his hopes 
and intentions. I am of opinion that when he lands in Por 
tugal you should try whether the change of scene has changed 
his mind in this respect; and if perchance the evils and dan 
gers of the voyage have made him more amenable to heavenly 
admonitions, then persuade him rather to stay in Portugal as a 
monk than to come out here again as a soldier. If you succeed, 
you will have done the poor wretch a very great kindness, and 


St. Francis Xavier. 

have made gain of a soul that was lost. But if his mind be still 
fixed on transitory things, and he be not able to rise to such a 
height of philosophy as I mention, then by all means let him 
have your help in obtaining his just demands, and use your in 
fluence, as far as you may, that out of the rewards which he 
has earned by long service as a soldier he may have at least so 
much given him as may be enough for him to live on at home. 
And I beg you again and again, for the love of God, to attempt 
to get this done for His sake. 

After I had written all the letters which I had determined 
to send to Portugal by the hand of Pedro Fernandez, who has 
discharged in these countries of India the office of Vicar to 
the Bishop, some ships arrived here from Malacca, bringing 
certain news that the Chinese ports are unfavourable and hos 
tile to the Portuguese. This, however, will not frighten me from 
attempting the voyage to Japan, which I mean by the help of 
God to undertake, as I have already told you that I have made 
up my mind to do. There is nothing more fruitful of good to the 
soul in this life of misery than to live in the midst of great dan 
gers of death, the true and only cause for braving which has 
been the simple love of God and of pleasing Him, and the sin 
cere desire to extend our holy religion. Believe me, it is 
sweeter for a man to live in labours of this sort, than to pass his 
time in peace and leisure without them. May our Lord God 
unite us in His holy glory ! Amen. 

Your most loving brother in Christ, 

Cochin, Jan. 25, 1549. FRANCIS. 

The six weeks or two months which Francis Xavier spent 
at Cochin at this time were not without their activity. Indeed, 
Francis was there at the special invitation of his good friend 
Pedro Gonzalvez, of whom we have found him speak so highly 
in his letters, and whose great desire was that his own people 
should for some time have the benefit of his apostolical zeal. 
He preached in the churches, instructed children, and visited 
the sick, as usual, and was as successful as was his wont in 
the conversion of sinners and in the reform of manners. Two 

At Cochin. 99 

miracles of this time have been specially recorded. In the 
first instance it was a child of four years of age, who had 
been many weeks ill of a fever, and was given over by the 
doctors. The parents, without making any direct petition 
to Francis, brought him in to see the child. Francis made 
the sign of the Cross over him and recited a Gospel, and the 
child at once opened its eyes, gave signs of joy, and was found 
to be entirely cured. The other instance was of that knowledge 
of the interior state and conscience of another, which is one of 
the gifts sometimes communicated to the saints. Francis met 
opposite the church of St. Antony at Cochin an acquaintance 
of his, a man of bad life, who at the very moment was medi 
tating the execution of some profligate design. The man came 
up and kissed his hand, and was received with great kindness. 
Then Francis changed his look, became very grave, and asked 
him how he was. As well as possible, thank God, was the 
reply. Well enough as to the body, said Francis, but how as 
to the soul ? And then he went on to tell his friend all that 
he had been devising in his most secret thoughts. No one 
knew it but the man himself, and he was at once struck with 
contrition, made his confession, and gave up his evil life. 14 

14 Massei, Vita di S. Francesco, 1. ii. c. 14, p. 246. 


Arrangement of the Missions hi India. 

THE letters written by Francis Xavier after his return to Malacca 
from the Moluccas in 1547, show us how firm a hold the idea 
of an expedition to Japan had taken on his mind, almost from 
the first moment when he had met the Japanese Anger and 
his Portuguese friends. His was the heart and soul of an 
Apostle ; and as St. Paul longed for Rome, or Spain, or even 
still more distant countries, while he was yet in Asia Minor, or 
Greece, or his prison at Crcsarasa, so the tidings that told Francis 
of new islands where the Gospel had never been preached, 
seemed almost to put upon his conscience the duty of devoting 
himself to the work of carrying among them the name of Jesus 
Christ. Moreover, he had done for India, for Malacca, and for 
the islands of the Eastern Archipelago, that which was particu 
larly his own work the work of laying foundations and of be 
ginning that system of preaching, teaching, catechizing, and 
training the people which we see him following everywhere. It 
called for all his devotion, energy, firmness, and prudence to 
initiate a system which required so much unostentatious labour 
on the part of the missioner, and which, if it could but be per 
petuated, would certainly, as far as human measures could se 
cure such a result, have made the growth of the new Christian 
populations to maturity and strength certain. But the system 
could be administered by men who could never have founded 
it, and it was the mission of Francis Xavier to found it in as 
many places as possible rather than to remain fixed in any one 
place after founding it. The labourers who were to carry on 
his work had now been supplied him from Europe, if not in num 
bers as large as he had desired, if not such in quality as his san 
guine imagination had represented them to him when his pro- 

Thoughts of "japan. i o i 

phetic mind 1 pictured to itself Antonio Araoz or even Simon 
Rodriguez himself coming out to India at the head of a large 
band of followers, at least sufficiently for the purpose of work 
ing on the foundation which he himself had laid. With India, 
Malacca, and the Moluccas so well manned as they now were, 
or were soon to be, with priests of this Society, Francis might 
feel what St. Paul expressed when he wrote to the Romans from 
Corinth, that he had now no more place in these countries. - 
Nor can we doubt that he was also strongly influenced by the 
disappointment with which he was met in every attempt to con 
vert the natives of India on a larger scale than had hitherto 
been accomplished, and to penetrate into the interior of the 
great peninsula itself, partly on account of the misconduct 
and bad example of the Portuguese, partly on account of the 
avarice and tyranny of their superior officers, partly also on 
account of that hatred to the Christian name that was only too 
natural in nations which could not help looking upon it as iden 
tical with the name of Portuguese. 

The expedition to Japan, which presented itself to his mind 
with so many attractive features to recommend it, was therefore 
an enterprise which Francis might have concluded to undertake 
on grounds of simple reason. The Japanese were intelligent, 
noble, manly, liberal, anxious to learn and ready to be con 
vinced of the truth. The field was open, and free from many 
of the obstacles which were felt so fatally in India and else 
where. There were no Cosmo de Payvas, no rapacious slave 
robbers, no Portuguese settlers who might outdo the heathen 
themselves in licentiousness and fraud, no Jews or Mussulmans 
to dispute for the possible converts with the Christian preacher, 
or to add their own errors, vices, and dishonesties to the native 
corruptions of the manners and tenets of the pagans. Danger 
itself, the many forms of peril which St. Paul enumerates, 
* perils of waters, perils of robbers, perils in the wilderness, perils 
in the sea, 3 had become attractive to Francis Xavier, since his 
experience in the Moluccas of the immense and most won 
derful consolation with which God, who can never be outdone 

1 See vol. i. p. 99. - Romans xv. 23. 3 2 Cor. xi. 26. 

ic2 St. Francis Xai icr. 

in generosity, is wont, by way of compensation, to overwhelm 
those who brave all things for His sake. And yet it is most 
certain, that neither the reasonableness nor the attractiveness 
of the enterprise decided Francis Xavier to undertake it. As 
he had waited so long at Meliapor and elsewhere, before em 
barking on what he then thought was to be a voyage to Maca- 
zar, in order to gain a clear light and conviction that it was the 
will of God that he should at that time go thither and nowhere 
else, so during all the months which elapsed between his return 
to India from the East and his second departure for Malacca, 
he was studying and praying and seeking in every possible way 
to ascertain the particular direction of the Holy Ghost as to the 
voyage to Japan. This accounts for whatever appears like hesi 
tation or indecision in him at this time, though all the while he 
was laying his plans and making his arrangements for the long 
absence which the voyage was sure to entail upon him. Even 
up to the very last, after he had written, as we have seen in 
the preceding chapter, to Ignatius and Simon Rodriguez about 
the certainty of his departure, even while he was at Malacca 
itself making his final arrangements, he was still commend 
ing the matter with all earnestness to God in humble prayer 
for light. 

Japan, which in our time has been almost revealed anew to 
the civilized world, whose ambassadors and students we have 
seen in our streets, whose works of art and ingenuity are filling 
us with admiration, while we are looking with intense interest 
on the new social and political developments of which it is 
being made the scene, had been first discovered by Europeans, 
seven years before the time of which we are writing, almost at 
the same moment when Francis Xavier put his foot on the 
shores of India. The famous adventurer, Fernand Mendex 
Pinto, has told us, in some amusing chapters of his history, 
how he arrived with some other Portuguese in the ship of a 
corsair at the isle of Tanixooma, the first land of Japan, as he 
says, and how he was nearly losing his life, because the son of 
the King of Boungo wounded himself and almost blew his thumb 
off by attempting to fire off the arquebuse of the stranger who 

Arrangements in India. 103 

was lying asleep. 4 It appears that about the same time that 
Mendez Pinto and his companions landed at Tanixooma, three 
other Portuguese had been driven by a storm into the port of 
Cagoxima, in the kingdom of Satsouma that is, into the very 
home of Anger, the Japanese fugitive whom St. Francis Xaxier 
fell in with, five years later, at Malacca. These first chance visits 
of the Portuguese were soon followed by the establishment of a 
considerable traffic, and the way was thus paved for the intro 
duction of Christianity. But it was a singularly favourable cir 
cumstance that Anger and his companions should in the first 
instance have come to India and been instructed in the faith. 
Francis was thus enabled to enter Japan with devoted friends 
and disciples at his side, to whom the customs and language 
of the country were perfectly familiar. His daily intercourse 
with them at Goa and on the voyage must have furnished him 
with an unusual store of knowledge concerning the new nation 
to which he was about to preach, and we see from the detailed 
description given of Japan in the papers drawn up by Anger, 
or from his dictation, that he and his companions fully de 
served the credit for intelligence and quickness which is given 
to them in the letters of Francis. 5 

Before the departure of Francis for Japan could be thought 
of, it was necessary that he should arrange the affairs of the 
Society in India, which he was to leave behind him for an al 
most indefinite period, and with which he could only hope to 
hold very rare communications. The first few letters which we 
have remaining to us of the spring of 1549, after the dispatch 
of the vessels to Europe, show us how much this care pre-occu- 
pied the mind of Francis Xavier. He had already discovered 
those defects in the character of Antonio Gomez which made it 
likely that he would be a bad and unfortunate Superior at Goa, 
especially if left to himself without Francis to guide him. On 
the other hand, Francis was very desirous of sending a thor 
oughly active, and zealous, and prudent missionary to Ormuz, 

4 Meixie/. Pinto, t. ii. ch. 132 (French Translation). See also Charle- 
voix, Hist, dn Japon, t. i. p. 178. 

4 We give this account of Japan in the Notes to this liook. 

1O4 St* Francis Xavier. 

the far famed emporium at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, and 
before he left Cochin for Goa he seems, from the letters last in 
serted, to have intended to send Gomez to this post, placing 
Gaspar Baertz in his place as Rector of Goa. We are told 
that on his arrival, this plan, which would have saved a great 
deal of misery at Goa, was changed, on account of the resolute 
humility of Gaspar, who implored so earnestly that he might 
not be set to rule his brethren, that Francis had not the heart 
to resist him. It is possible that Francis also saw danger in the 
alteration which he had contemplated, of sending Gomez by 
himself to Ormuz. At all events, the plan was changed, and 
Gaspar Baertz was sent to the lonely and difficult post where 
he soon won for himself the fame of an apostle. 

Ormuz, or Hormos as it is called by Messer Marco Polo, 
stood in his time on the Kirmanian coast at the mouth of the 
Persian Gulf, but having been laid waste by the Tartars, the city 
was soon afterwards transferred to the island, five miles out at 
sea, which was so famous as a mart in the time of which we are 
writing. It had nothing but its position to recommend it, and 
since the town on the island was demolished in the i;th cen 
tury by Shah Abbas, it has been valuable only as supplying salt 
in great abundance. When Francis Xavier sent Gaspar to be its 
Apostle, there was a fine city on the island of some thirty or forty 
thousand inhabitants. It had two large harbours, sheltered from 
every wind, and was a sort of Venice in the East a place where 
the merchants of Arabia, Persia, Armenia, India, China, and of 
the eastern coast of Africa, met with those of Europe. It is 
one of the hottest places in the world, and by nature one of the 
worst supplied even with the ordinary conveniences of life. It 
had hardly any fresh water, and all that was not imported was 
of bad quality. Scarcely any grass or trees would grow on the 
parched salt soil. A missionary who stayed there some time, 
as Bartoli tells us, used to say that this island had worse upon 
it than the curse pronounced on all the earth in punishment of 
Adam s disobedience, that it should bring forth thorns and 
briars, because in this place not even these could grow. An 
old report said that once the island had been set burning by 

Or muz. 105 

subterranean fire for seven years together, and that on this ac 
count its hills remained heaps of cinders, just whitened at the 
top. No birds or animals are seen there all the year round, he 
adds, but every morning a dew falls which congeals into grains, 
has a very sweet taste, and is called " manna." Against all 
these natural disadvantages the wealth and luxury of its inhabit 
ants had striven so successfully as to make the city of Ormuz 
one of the wonders of the East. A proverb said that if the 
world were a ring, Ormuz would be the gem set in it. It was 
a city of fine streets and palaces, the houses were ingeniously 
contrived to shield off the intense heat of the sun, and the cool 
breezes, which happily blew daily, were conducted by a con 
trivance of pipes through every room. The roofs were flat, and 
the inhabitants slept in the open air upon them, in large vessels 
full of water, with their heads only projecting. With all the 
heat, the climate is not unhealthy, and diseases are rare, says 
Bartoli, following other writers; he attributes the good health 
of the inhabitants to their perpetual perspirations. Ormuz seems 
to have been independent under its own king, when the great 
Albuquerque conquered it, assisting a deposed king to regain 
his throne, building a fortress, and making it tributary to the 
crown of Portugal. This was its political condition at the time 
of which we write. 

Its moral state was enormously and infamously bad. It 
was the home of the foulest sensuality, and of all the most cor 
rupted forms of every religion in the East. The Christians were 

6 Marco Polo, t. i. p. 102 (Col. Yule s edition, 1872), speaking of this 
country about Hormos, the ancient Ormuz, on the mainland, says, The 
residents avoid living in the cities, for the heat in summer is so great that 
it would kill them, hence they go out to sleep at their gardens in the country, 
where there are streams and plenty of water. For all that, they would not 
escape but for one thing, which I will mention. The fact is, as you see, that 
in summer a wind often blows across the sands which encompass the place 
so intolerably that it would kill everybody were it not that, when they per 
ceive that wind coming, they plunge into water up to the neck, and so abide 
till the wind has ceased. On this Col. Yule remarks (p. 112), The cus 
tom of lying in water is mentioned also by Sir John Mandeville, and it was 
adopted by the Portuguese when they occupied Insular Hormuz, as P. 
vlclla Valle and Linschoten relate. The custom is still common during great 
heats in Sind and Mekran. 

io6 St. Francis Xavier. 

as bad as the rest in the extreme licence of their lives. There 
were a few priests, but they were a disgrace to the Christian 
name. A zealous bishop had once lived there, and soon wore 
himself to death. Mahometanism was in great power, and pos 
sessed a very magnificent mosque. The Arabs and Persians 
had introduced and made common the most detestable forms 
of vice. Ormuz was said to be a Babel for its confusion of 
tongues, and for its moral abominations to match the cities of the 
Plain. A lawful marriage was a rare exception. Foreigners, 
soldiers, and merchants, threw off all restraint in the indulgence 
of their passions. The children of Christian fathers and Jew 
ish, heathen, or Mussulman women were brought up in the 
religion of their mothers. The riches of the place attracted 
every possible luxury to enhance the general licence. Avarice 
was made a science : it was studied and practised, not for gain, 
but for its own sake, and for the pleasure of cheating. Evil had 
become good, and it was thought good trade to break promises 
and think nothing of engagements, and the most extortionate 
forms of usury were common and avowed. One of the succes 
sors of Master Caspar at Ormuz said, that if a council of devils 
were to assemble to draw up formulas of robbery, they would 
never invent so many and so specious ways of defrauding as he 
saw contrived and practised every day by the merchants of 
Ormuz, who were called all over the East the Doctors of 
Usury. He added, that if the famous Doctor Martin Navarrus 
Francis Xavier s uncle were to come out thither, he would 
have to begin his studies again, and take his degree of Doctor 
a second time, so much would he have to learn about ex 
changes and contracts of which he had never heard. In the 
midst of all this licence and dishonesty, human life was of little 
value, and assassins were easily to be found for a certain sum 
to make away with any one who had given offence to another 
in immoral intrigues or in money transactions." 

Francis Xavier would gladly have given himself to this 
stronghold of Satan. He used to say, we are told, that it would 

: This account of Ormuz is mainly taken from Bartoli, Asia, t. i. 1. 5, 
pp. 442 seq. 

Or muz. 107 

not surprise him if the whole island were some day to be sub 
merged for the wickedness which reigned there. And in truth, 
at the present day, it is more of a desert than Babylon or Tyre. 
But Francis was called by God to Japan. It was against his 
practice to send any one of those under him to a place where 
he had not himself preached and laboured, but Ormuz was bad 
enough to make him depart for once from this rule. It re 
mained to send some one in whom he could thoroughly confide, 
and to instruct him fully and minutely as to the plan on which 
he was to work, leaving him at the same time all the discretion 
which the circumstances of the case required. Francis had 
soon discerned the great worth of Gaspar Baertz, and though 
he had wished to place him at the head of the College at Goa, 
in many respects the most important post in India, he deter 
mined to send this his best worker to Ormuz, in the same spirit 
in which he had himself been given to the Indian missions by 

The instructions given by Francis to Gaspar are almost 
the most precious part of all that remains to us of their writer. 
At first sight they might seem to find their place by the side of 
his rules for the daily exercise of Christian virtues, or of his 
long explanation of the Creed given in the preceding volume. 
But they are not simple instructions interesting as such would 
always be to us if they came from the pen of Francis Xavier. 
The reader will find Francis insisting much, in the paper which 
we are next to insert, on the necessity of a study and familiar 
knowledge of mankind for the Christian preachers and apostles, 
on the indispensable need of experience and acquaintance 
with the human heart acquired by constant and observant in 
tercourse, if any really great effect is to be produced in gaining 
souls to God. He is almost severe at least he seems to have 
felt that what he had said needed some counterbalancing 
against the mere study of books, however good and authorita 
tive, as a preparation for the apostolic life and ministry. We 
may be sure, then, that in his instructions to Gaspar Baertz he 
has drawn largely on his own experience. It is his own method 
of dealing with men which he urges on his disciple. 

io8 St. Francis Xavier. 

We may therefore take a large part of the following treatise, 
as it may almost be called, as a sort of unconscious contribu 
tion to our knowledge of Francis Xavier given us by his own 
hand. In many points this is obvious upon the very face of 
his instructions. The immense importance which he attaches 
to the care of the missionary s own conscience as his first and 
most essential duty, the continual practice of works of humility 
and charity, which he recommends, the prudence on which he in 
sists as necessary in all dealings with men, the attentive humble 
consideration to be paid to the Bishop s Vicar and the priests 
of the place, and also to the Governor of Ormuz, the practice of 
preaching on board ship and on the Sundays and festivals when 
the place of destination has been reached, the labours which 
are to be undertaken for the conversion of the heathen, the 
custom of going round the streets by night to solicit prayers 
for the holy souls, these and several other points which are 
salient in his instructions to Caspar we already know to belong 
to the daily practical life of Francis Xavier himself. This being 
the case, it is easy to see that in other matters he is also relating 
his own experience and recommending the method pursued by 
himself. We learn thus what was the staple of his sermons, 
how he dealt with penitents in the confessional, how he behaved 
himself with the rough lawless class of sinners, the merchants, 
the soldiers, the seamen, or again with the officers of the revenue 
and the rich but good-natured voluptuaries who were thrown 
across his path or drawn to him by that irresistible attractive 
ness which was his special gift, the dowry of his holiness and of 
his close loving imitation of Him who was the friend of pub 
licans and sinners. Ormuz, wicked as it was, perhaps pre 
eminent in wickedness, must yet have been a place not different 
in kind as to its inhabitants or their vices from Malacca, or 
Ternate, or even Cochin or Coa itself: and we may learn more 
than we already know of Francis Xavier, in his familiar inter 
course with the many men which he reclaimed to Cod at those 
places, by these directions which he gives to Caspar as to the 
stray sheep at Ormuz. Above all, we may be sure that in the 
heroic charity which he recommends in the confessional, when 

Instructions to Caspar Bacrtz. 109 

he says that timid souls who cannot for shame reveal their sins 
are to be encouraged, by their confessor s revealing even to them 
the worst sins of his own former life, we have a lesson which he 
would never have given if he had not practised it himself. The 
same may be said as to the manner in which novices and pos 
tulants are to be dealt with, and the universal rules of prudence, 
sweetness, and the careful study of men s characters before at 
tempting to do them good, which are here inculcated. 

If the letter of instruction to Master Caspar be read in the 
light of these considerations, we shall come to understand its 
value, not only as embodying spiritual counsels of the most 
exquisite and refined wisdom, but as adding largely to our ac 
quaintance with the character of Francis himself. 

So long a document as that which we are now to insert 
could not, of course, have been written all at once, and we find 
that, although there is a tolerably clear sequence and arrange 
ment in several parts, the writer has now and then gone back 
to points on which he has touched before. The letter runs as 
follows : 

(LXIX.) To Father Caspar Baertz, going to Ormuz. 

Above all things be mindful of yourself, and of discharging 
faithfully what you owe first to God, and then to your own con 
science; for by means of these two duties you will find yourself 
become most capable of serving your neighbours and of gaining 
souls. Take care always to incline, even beyond moderation, 
to the practice of the most abject employments. By exercising 
yourself in them, you will acquire humility, and daily advance 
in that virtue. For this reason I would have you not leave to 
any other, but yourself take charge of, the teaching the ignor 
ant those prayers, which every Christian ought to have by 
heart : an employment certainly by no means ostentatious. Have 
yourself the patience to make the children and slaves of the 
Portuguese repeat them word by word after you. Do the 
same thing to the children of the native Christians. Those 
who behold you thus diligently employed will never suspect 

1 1 o St. Francis Xavicr. 

you of any arrogance they will be edified by your modesty ; 
and as modest persons easily attract the esteem of others, they 
will judge you more fit to instruct themselves in those mysteries 
of the Christian religion of which they are ignorant. 

You must frequently visit the poor in the hospitals and 
poorhouses, and from time to time exhort them to confess 
themselves, and to communicate ; giving them to understand 
that confession is the remedy for past sins, and holy communion 
a preservative against relapses that both of them destroy the 
causes of the miseries which they now suffer, and which they 
fear for the future, by reason that the ills they suffer are only 
the punishment of their offences. On this account, when they 
are willing to confess, you shall hear their confessions with all 
the leisure you can afford them. After this care taken of their 
souls, do what you can to help the poor creatures in what they 
want for their bodies ; recommend them with all diligence and 
affection to the administrators of the establishment in which 
they are, or else procure them from others who can help them 
the relief which they need. 

You must also visit and preach to the prisoners, and exhort 
them earnestly to make a general confession of their lives. They 
have more need than others to be stirred up to this, because 
many or most people of that sort have never made an exact 
confession since they were born. After this, ask the Brother 
hood of Mercy to have pity on those poor wretches, and to 
labour with the judges to look into their causes and to provide 
daily food for the most necessitous, who oftentimes have not 
wherewithal to subsist. You must be of all the service you can 
to the Brotherhood of Mercy, showing yourself devoted to it, 
promoting it, commending it, and most readily working in every 
way in your power to help it. 

If in that great port of Ormuz you have to hear the confes 
sion of any rich merchants whom you find to have the posses 
sion of ill-gotten goods on their consciences, and who are bound 
and willing to restore them, but yet cannot make restitution to 
the persons who have been injured, either because they are 
dead, or because of themselves they know not who or where 

Prudence of the Missioner. 1 1 1 

they are, even though they force upon you the money for re 
stitution, remit the whole thereof into the hands of the Brother 
hood of Mercy, even though you may think of some necessitous 
persons on whom such charity might be well employed. Thus 
you will not expose yourself to be deceived by the insidious 
tricks of wicked men, who affect an air of innocence and po 
verty ; men full to the throat of imposture and wickedness, 
but who cannot so easily deceive the Brotherhood of Mercy, to 
whom it will be much safer and more seemly for you to transfer 
the invidious and perplexing office of making all due inquiries; 
thus the alms will reach those who are truly poor, and the 
greedy lying of these avaricious impostors will be defeated. 
And besides, you will gain the more leisure for those functions 
which in a more especial manner belong to your state of life, 
which is devoted to the assistance of souls : otherwise this fre 
quent and manifold care of the distribution of alms would de 
prive you of no small part of the leisure which you will need 
so much. In fine, by this means you will prevent the com 
plaints and suspicions of men, who from their own common 
badness, would be ready to think evil of you, as if, under the 
pretence of serving others, you were cunningly playing a game 
for yourself, and withdrawing for your own use a part of the 
money entrusted to you to give away, thus cheating the neces 
sities of the poor and practising a wicked theft upon them. 

In dealing with those whom in the various intercourse of 
life you come across, whether in spiritual or secular things, 
whether at home or abroad, whether it be in the way of speech 
or of company, whether their familiarity or friendship with 
you be only ordinary or of the highest degree, always bear 
yourself as if you had it in your mind that they might one day 
become your enemies instead of your friends. By this manage 
ment of yourself, you will never let them be aware of any act 
or word of yours which, if they were to bring out at any time 
when in a passion, might make you blush for it as an exposure 
of yourself, or be sorry for it on account of mischief it might 
cause to your work and business. This perpetual watchfulness 
and care is made necessary for us on account of the wicked- 

112 St. Francis Xavier. 

ness of this corrupt world, whose children are continually ob 
serving the children of light with mistrustful and malignant 
eyes. And the same care is due also for the sake of your own 
spiritual advancement, which will make great progress if you 
regulate all your words and actions by continual and most at 
tentive prudence. 

By this same precaution you will guard the inconstant 
minds of your friends against the danger of change. In any 
case you will prepare for yourself in their minds many things 
which will be your defenders, for they will remember the up 
rightness of your conduct, and they will conceive a reverence 
for you which will put them to confusion if ever they become 
your enemies. This consideration of the instability of men will 
also make you look more to God, despise yourself more, and 
cling to God, Who is ever present to us, with extreme humility 
and great sweetness of soul : practises which if we omit, we 
find a number of things stealing upon us which hurt the eyes 
of people who see us, and gradually alienate from us their 
goodwill. The examen, which we call particular, will do a 
great deal as to keeping up this carefulness. Take care never 
to fail to make it twice a day, or once at least, according to 
our common method, whatsoever business you have upon your 

Before all things, devote your first and principal care to 
cleansing your own conscience and keeping it without stain. 
Let your diligence in preserving or in cleansing the consciences 
of others come after this of your own ; for how can a man be 
of use to others who takes no care for himself? Preach to the 
people as frequently as ever you can ; for the usefulness of 
preaching spreads far and wide everywhere ; and amongst all 
evangelical employments there is none from which greater fruit 
for the service of God and the good of men can be expected. 

In your sermons beware of admitting any doubtful propo 
sitions as to which there is difficulty, because doctors are divided. 
For the subjects of sermons should be chosen from clear and 
unquestionable truths, which tend to the regulation of manners 
and the reprehension of vices. Set forth the enormity of sin, 

Method of Preaching. 1 1 3 

enlarge on the atrocity of the offence to God s infinite Majesty 
which is committed by the sinner. Imprint in souls a lively 
horror of that sentence which shall be thundered out against 
guilty sinners at the last judgment. Represent with all the 
colours of your eloquence those most bitter pains which the 
damned are eternally to suffer in hell. In fine, threaten them 
with death, and especially with sudden and unexpected death, 
those particularly who neglect the service of God, and who, 
having their conscience loaded with many most grievous sins, 
think nothing of sleeping on in supine negligence in such a con 
dition. You are to mingle with all these considerations the 
remembrance of the cross, the wounds, and death of Christ, by 
which He vouchsafed to atone for our sins ; but you are to do 
this in as moving, pathetical a manner as possible, by figures 
and colloquies proper to excite emotions in the mind, such as 
cause in our hearts a deep sorrow for our sins, on account of 
the offence done to God thereby, even so as to draw tears from 
the eyes of your audience, who are then to be led to make re 
solutions of cleansing their consciences as soon as possible by 
confession, and of celebrating their reconciliation to God by 
due reception of the holy communion. This is the one true 
idea which I wish you would propose to yourself for preaching 

When you reprove vices in the pulpit be careful never to 
speak against or attack any person by name, especially those 
who are officers or magistrates. If they do anything which you 
disapprove, and of which you think convenient to admonish 
them, make them a visit, and speak to them in private ; or 
when they come of themselves to confession, whisper to them 
in the secret tribunal of penance, what you have to say to them. 
But altogether avoid the speaking against them openly; for 
they are a sort of people who are commonly difficult and ir 
ritable, and they are so far from amending upon such public 
admonitions that they are stung by them, and become furious, 
like bulls under a gadfly, and rush headlong to perdition. 

Moreover, before you take upon you to give even private 
admonitions take care that you know them a little first, and have 


ii4 St- Francis Xavier. 

some familiarity with the people whom you wish to correct, so 
to prepare your way: and then make your admonition either 
more gentle or more strong in tone according to the measure 
of your favour or authority with the friend yo u are reproving, 
so as to be more free and severe with one who is more bound 
to you, and more sparing and cautious with one with whom you 
are less familiar. Take care always to temper the sternness ot 
your reproof with the serenity of your air, a smiling countenance, 
and gentle glances, and much more by the civility of well-man 
nered words, and the sincere protestation of your love, which is 
the only thing which forces on you that unpleasant but necessary 
attempt to deliver a friend from the stain which disfigures him. 
It is good also to add marks of submissive reverence to the 
pleasingness of your discourse, with tender embraces, and all 
other fitting marks of the sincere goodwill and unquestionable 
respect which you have for the person of him whom you are 
correcting. These things are the honey and preserves which 
are mixed with and which season the bitterness of the dose, 
unpleasant in itself, and which will turn out of no use if it be 
administered without some such condiment to men whose sto 
machs are likely to be turned by it. For if a harsh voice, a rigid 
countenance, or threatening aspect and a lowering brow should 
be added to the natural disagreeableness of so unpleasant a 
matter as a reprehension, I am very much afraid that men of 
such fastidious delicacy and sensitive ears will not be able to 
restrain their bile. They have power at their back, they are 
accustomed to adulation ; and it is more likely, in such cases 
that they will shake off all restraint and moderation, and send 
their inopportune censor about his business, with a good deal of 
abuse into the bargain. 

For what concerns confession, how you are to advise others, 
and they to practise it, this is the method which I judge the fittest 
for these quarters of the world, where the licence of sin is very 
great, and the use of penance very rare. Whenever you find a 
person who wishes to unburthen in confession a conscience 
laden with a long accumulation of sin, exhort him in the first 
place to take two or three days of preparation, to examine his 

Restitution. 115 

conscience thoroughly, to go back to the first recollections of 
his childhood, then through all the various stages of age and 
occupation which he has passed through in all his life up to 
this time, making up the account of all his sins of deed, word, 
or thought, and if his memory require it, writing it down and 
reading it over. When he is thus prepared, you can hear his 
confession, after which it will generally be well that you should 
not give him absolution at once, but persuade him to think it 
over for two or three days, to withdraw his mind from his ordi 
nary occupations, and by means of meditations adapted to excite 
him to sorrow for his sins, out of love to God Whom he has 
offended, to prepare himself to gain greater fruit from his sacra 
mental absolution. During those three days you shall exercise 
your penitent in some of the meditations of the first week of 
the Exercises, giving him the points, and teaching him the me 
thod of meditation and of prayer, and you shall counsel him 
also to help himself, by means of some voluntary penance, for 
example, of fasting or disciplining himself, to conceive in his 
inmost heart a true detestation for his offences, and even shed 
tears of repentance. 

Besides this, you must take care, if the penitents have unjust 
possession of anything belonging to others, that they make 
restitution in this interval of time; or if they have injured the 
reputation of any one, that they retract what they have said ; or 
if they are engaged in unlawful attachments and have been living 
in sin, cause them to break off those criminal engagements, and 
remove at once the occasions of their crime. However solemnly 
and seriously they may promise to do these things at a future 
time, it is not safe to trust them without the actual performance 
of their engagement. Let them perform beforehand what they 
declare that they will do. There is not any time more proper 
to exact from sinners these duties, the performance of which is 
as necessary as it is difficult. For when once their fervour and 
excitement of mind have grown cold, and their familiar entice 
ments have begun to drag them back with fatal persuasiveness 
to the sins to which they have long been accustomed and which 
they have but just left off for the time, it will be in vain to ask 

1 1 6 St. Francis Xavier. 

them to keep their promise. Before, therefore, you send them 
away absolved from all their sins, insist by all means on their 
anticipating these dangers. Otherwise, so frail is human nature, 
you will have to bewail to no purpose their speedy relapse to 
wards the precipice, from the slippery declivity of which you 
have not far enough removed them. 

In dealing with sinners in the sacred tribunal of penance, 
take heed lest by any hasty severity you frighten away those 
who have begun to discover the wounds of their souls to you. 
How enormous soever their sins may be, hear them, not only 
with patience, but with mildness ; help out their bashfulness 
when they find it difficult to confess, testifying to them your 
compassion, and seeming not to be surprised at what you hear, 
as having heard in confession sins much more grievous and foul 
than theirs. And lest they should despair of pardon for their 
faults speak to them of the treasures of the infinite mercies of 
God. Sometimes when they have confessed some crime with 
great trouble of mind, hint to them that their sin is not altogether 
so great as they may think ; that by God s assistance you can 
heal even more mortal wounds of the soul ; bid them go on 
without any apprehension, and make no difficulty of telling all. 
It is necessary to use this motherly indulgence, so to speak, in 
order to assist these poor souls in bringing forth their sins, for in 
truth it is a most painful labour which they undergo in bringing 
to birth the spirit of salvation, until at last they have emptied 
the whole terrible sink of their conscience. 

You will find some of them whom the weakness either of 
their age or sex will make them feel more ashamed as to reveal 
ing to you the foul lusts with which they have stained them 
selves. "When you perceive that, meet them more than half way r 
telling them that they are neither the only nor the first persons, 
who have fallen into such foul sins, that you have met with far 
worse sins of that kind than those can be which they want thd 
confidence to tell you. Impute a great part of their offence tJ 
the violence of the temptation, the seductiveness of the occal 
sion, and the concupiscence innate in all men. More than this,; 
I tell you that in dealing with such persons, we must sometimes 

Doubts as to Faith. 117 

go so far and so low, in order to loosen the chains of this 
miserable shame in these unhappy persons whose tongues the 
devil has by his cunning tied up, as of our own accord to indicate 
in general the sins of our own past lives, so to elicit from these 
guilty souls the confession of the sin which they will otherwise 
hide, to their irreparable loss. For what can a true and fervent 
charity refuse to pay for the safety of those souls who have 
been redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ ? But to under 
stand when this is proper to be done, how far to proceed, and 
with what precautions, is what the guidance of the Spirit and 
your experience must teach you at the time in each particular 

You will sometimes meet with men and I would that they 
may be few who doubt of the power and efficacy of the holy 
sacraments, and especially as to the Presence of the Body ot 
Christ in the Eucharist. This comes from their not frequenting 
those sacred mysteries, from their continual intercourse with 
pagans, Mahometans, and heretics, or from the bad example 
given them by some Christians, and even (which I speak with 
shame and sorrow) by some of our own priestly order; for 
when they see some priests, whose life is not more holy than 
that of the common multitude, still go rashly and almost as a 
pastime to the altar, they imagine that it is in vain that we teach 
that Jesus Christ is present in the holy sacrifice of the mass, 
for that if He were there present, He would never suffer such 
impure hands to touch Him with impunity. 

The way you should take to set these people right is as 
follows. First establish yourself in their friendship by courteous 
speeches and kind manners, and then endeavour by familiar 
questions to elicit their private thoughts. If you find in them 
the errors I have mentioned, then search out their causes, occa 
sions, and beginnings. You will thus understand where to apply 
your remedy, and then do this with all diligence and vigour, 
alleging whatever, as the occasion suggests, may seem to be of 
use ; take great pains to prove clearly the truth of that sacred 
dogma, and never leave off till you have conquered, and till they 
protest that they are most firmly persuaded with a faith certain 

1 1 8 St. Francis Xavier. 

beyond all doubt that the Body and Blood of Christ our Lord 
and Redeemer are most truly present under the species of bread 
and wine duly consecrated. After that it will not be difficult 
to lead them to cleanse their souls in good faith by confession, 
and to receive more frequently the sacred banquet of the table 
of God with due devotion. 

When in the sacred tribunal of penance you have heard all 
that your penitents have prepared themselves to confess of 
their sins, do not at once think that all is done, and that you 
have no further duty to discharge. You must go on further to 
inquire, and by means of questions to rake out the faults which 
ought to be known and to be remedied, but which escape the 
penitents themselves on account of their ignorance. Ask them 
what profits they make, how, and whence ? what is the system 
that they follow in barter, in loans, and in the whole matter of 
security for contracts ? You will generally find that every 
thing is defiled with usurious contracts, and that those very 
persons have got together the greater part of their money by 
sheer rapine, who nevertheless asserted themselves so confi 
dently to be pure from all contagion of unjust gain; having 
as they said, the true testimony of a conscience that repre 
hends them in nothing. Indeed, some persons consciences 
have become so hardened that they have either no sense at 
all, or very little sense, of the presence of even vast heaps of 
robberies which they have gathered into their bosom. 

Use this method with particular diligence towards the 
king s ministers, commandants, treasurers, the receivers, and 
other officers and farmers of the revenue, whensoever they 
present themselves before you in the sacred tribunal in 
short, with all who, under any title and right whatever, have 
anything to do with the charge and handling of the public 
money and dues. Interrogate all these people by what means 
they grow rich on the discharge and income of their offices- 
If they are shy of telling you, search and scent it out in every 
way, and the most mildly that you can. You will not have 
been long on the hunt before you come on sure tracks which 
will lead you to the very dens and lairs of their frauds and 

Unlawful Gains. 119 

monopolies, through which an inconsiderable number of men 
divert to their own private hordes emoluments belonging to 
the public. They buy up commodities with the king s money, 
and at once sell them again with an enormous percentage for 
themselves, raising the price to an immense rate, which has to 
be defrayed out of the pockets of those who are under a necessity 
from their business of coming into the market as purchasers 
of that merchandise. Too often, also, they torture credi 
tors of the treasury with long delays and cunning shifts, that 
they may be driven to compound with those sharks of the 
state by remitting a part of their due claim, while the others 
pocket the remainder, which they call the fruits of their in 
dustry, being in reality the booty gained by their most unprin 
cipled robbery. 

When you have squeezed out of them the confession of 
these monopolies and the like, drawing them out by many 
and cautious questions, you will be more easily able to settle 
how much of other persons property they are in possession of, 
and how much they ought to make restitution of to those they 
have defrauded, in order to be reconciled to God, than if you 
should ask them in general whether they remember to have 
defrauded any one. For to this question they will immediately 
answer that their memory upbraids them with nothing. For 
custom is to them in the place of law ; and what they see done 
before them every day, they persuade themselves may be prac 
tised without sin. For customs bad in themselves seem to 
these men to acquire authority and prescription from the fact 
that they are commonly practised. You should admit of no 
such law ; but should declare seriously to such people, that if 
they will heal the wounds of their conscience, they must re 
store and altogether give up their unjust possessions, which 
they have acquired by bad faith. And at the same time point 
out to them what these wrongly acquired possessions are, using 
the knowledge gained by their own confessions. 

Remember to be especially obedient and docile in all 
things to the Vicar of the Bishop. When you are arrived at 
Ormuz, you must go to wait on him, and falling on your knees 

izo St. Francis Xavier. 

before him, you should humbly kiss his hand. Neither preach, 
nor hear confessions, nor teach the Christian doctrine, nor 
exercise any other employment of our Institute without his 
permission. Never have any contention with him for any 
cause whatsoever, or differ from him. On the contrary, endea 
vour by all submission, and all possible services, to gain his 
close friendship in such sort that he may let himself be per 
suaded by you to go through the meditations of our Spiritual 
Exercises under your direction ; if not all, at least those of the 
first week. In the same way cultivate the goodwill of all the 
other priests by every kind of good office and goodwill, and 
avoid like the face of a serpent every occasion whatsoever of 
dissension and conflict with them. Pay them all the greatest 
reverence and the most particular marks of respect, so as to 
win for yourself their love in return. From which it will natur 
ally arise that they may be inclined to trust to you the care of 
their souls, and accept without dislike an invitation to make 
the Spiritual Exercises, if not for the whole month as we do, at 
least by retiring from the world in their homes during a certain 
number of days, during which you may visit them daily, and 
explain to them the subject of their meditations, taking them 
from those of the first week. 

Pay a great respect and obedience to the commandant, and 
make it apparent, by the most profound submission, how cor 
dially you respect him. Beware of any difference with him, 
on whatsoever occasion ; even though you should clearly see 
that he fails in his duty in matters of the highest import 
ance. Only when you perceive that your attentions have won 
for you his favour and good graces, be so bold as to visit him ; 
and after you have duly declared, in the first place, your love 
for him, and the concern you have for his honour and safety, 
then, with all modesty and gentleness of countenance, speak 
of the deep sorrow which affects your heart to see his soul in 
danger and his reputation damaged by reports of discreditable 
doings of his noised about in the world. Then you shall 
make known to him the discourses of the people concerning 
him, which will probably be put in writing, and go to a far 

Catechetical Instruction. 121 

greater distance than he would be willing they should, if he 
bethinks him not in time of giving satisfaction to the public. 
Nevertheless do not take this office upon you before you are 
well satisfied that his disposition to you is such that it appears 
solidly probable to you that he will take in good part your ad 
monition, and that it will do him real good. 

You must be much less ready to yield to the requests which 
many will make to you, that you should act as their ambassa 
dor in carrying their complaints to the commandant. Refuse 
as firmly as you can such an office, giving as an excuse your 
continued occupation in preaching, teaching, hearing confes 
sions, and in the study and thought which are required as pre 
paration for these duties. These things will leave you no time 
for the laborious and tedious business of frequenting the ante 
chamber of the great, and spending idle hours in their halls to 
await the rare moments of obtaining a difficult admission to 
their presence. You may add that even if you had the time, 
and if access to an audience was always open to you, you do 
not well know what would be the use of your interference, for 
if the commandant be such as they themselves charge him with 
being, it would be vain to hope that a man who is touched 
neither by respect to God nor by a due regard to his duty as 
they themselves assert would make any account of you if you 
were to suggest better things to him. 

The whole time that remains to you after you have dis 
charged your necessary duties should be spent in the conver 
sion of the heathen to the Christian religion. In choosing be 
tween different employments and ministrations, take care always 
to consider that those the usefulness of which is clearly of wider 
range are to be placed before others. This rule will teach 
you never to prefer the hearing of a confession to preaching in 
public, never to omit the catechetical instruction fixed at a cer 
tain hour every day for the sake of exhorting any single person 
in private, or attending to any similar work which will benefit 
only one. During the hour which precedes the appointed time 
for the catechetical instruction you or your companion should 
go through the piazza and streets of the city, inviting all with 

122 St. Francis Xavier. 

a loud voice to come and hear the explanation of the sacred 

You must write from time to time to the College at Goa, to- 
tell them what are the ministrations fitted to promote the glory 
of God you are exercising, what order you follow in them, and 
what fruit results from them in souls, God prospering your own 
weak efforts. Take pains that these statements are carefully 
made, so that our people at Goa may be able to send them to 
Europe, where they will be a sort of specimen of our work in 
these parts, and of the favour of God Who condescends to grant 
some success to the trifling labours of this least Society of ours. 
Let nothing get into the letter which may give just offence to 
any one, nothing that may not appear likely to induce the 
readers at the very first sight of it to praise God and do Him 
service. You must also frequently write letters on the same sub 
jects (with all due caution as to the person whom you address) 
to his Lordship the Bishop and to Cosmo Anez; imparting to 
each the happy news of the fruit which by the blessing of God 
results from the labours devoted to souls in those parts. 

As soon as you arrive at Ormuz, I would have you go pri 
vately to visit the best and most truthful men you can find 
there, who have also the greatest experience of the manners of 
the place and of its commerce. Inquire diligently of them 
what are the dominant vices there, what are the prevalent 
kinds of fraud in the matter of contracts and loans, and so on. 
When you have found out these things plainly and certainly, . 
you will be able to prepare for ready use arguments and re 
marks fitted either to open the eyes or to rebuke the obstinacy 
of persons who may come to you, whether in familiar intercourse 
or in sacramental confession, as to the palliated practice of 
usury, or of dishonestly gainful contracts, or of any other form 
or shape of the manifold and various wickednesses which are 
in vogue in that mart of Ormuz which is so full of merchants 
of every nation. 

Every night go round the streets of the city, recommending 
to the prayers of the living the souls of the dead who are suf 
fering for their sins in Purgatory. Use few words in doing this, . 

Affability, i 23 

but let them be well chosen for moving the compassion of the 
hearers, and begetting in them some religious feelings. Add 
some words also to try and rouse them all to pray for souls 
stained with mortal sin, and to obtain grace for them from 
God to emerge from so wretched a state. At the end of each 
exhortation give out the recitation of Our Father and Hail 
Mtrry, and say the first words of each yourself aloud. 

Let it be a matter to which you pay continual and unre- 
laxed attention, to show yourself to all those with whom you 
have to do with a kind and calm countenance, getting rid of 
every sign of severity, overbearingness, arrogance, suspicion, 
sourness, anger, and threatening. Otherwise, if the people who 
come to you find that you are set against them by these signs 
of evil disposition, they will certainly be checked and will turn 
away from you, without giving you that confidence which is 
requisite in order that being with you may do them good. You 
ought much rather to put on an appearance of courteous affa 
bility, using the gentlest and most winning smiles, and the like, 
whenever you have to reprove any one in private on account 
of some fault of his which requires admonition. At such times 
you ought to take the greatest pains in every way, that your 
countenance and look may both breathe all charity and kind 
liness, through which alone you must give out that you are 
impelled to make the man whom you reprove your debtor for 
the great benefit of wiping away a stain which defiles him, and 
that it is not any aversion or feeling of dislike that makes you 
break out in reproaches against him. 

If there are any priests, clerics, or laymen who desire to en 
ter the Society and to make the Spiritual Exercises, and whom 
you think proper persons to do so, you can send them to Goa 
with a letter stating who they are and what they want. Or 
even if at Ormuz itself you think that they can profitably help 
you, you may then admit them to live with you, and put them 
to the proof, as far as may be, with the usual experiments of 
the noviceship. 

On Sundays and festivals you should preach at two in the 
afternoon or a little after, either in the chapel of the Confra- 

124 St. Francis Xavier. 

ternity of Mercy, or in the church, explaining the articles of 
the Creed to the men and maidservants and the free Christians 
and the children of both sexes of the Portuguese. Before this, 
send your companion through the streets of the city with a bell, 
and besides ringing it, let him give out an invitation to ad 
monish all to assemble to hear the explanation of the Christian 
doctrine unless, indeed, you prefer yourself to make this an 
nouncement in the streets. Take with you to the place where 
the sermon is to be the summary of Christian doctrine and the 
explanation of the articles of the Creed, as well as the rule I 
have drawn up for passing daily life in a Christian and holy 
manner, in which is set down the manner and method in which 
Christians who are desirous of eternal life are to worship and 
invoke God every day, how they are to guard themselves against 
falling into sin, and to do all those things which conduce to 
the certain gaining of the end of our being, the grace and hap 
piness which we all desire. 

Give a copy of this rule to those who come to confession to 
you, giving them as their penance for a certain number of days 
to do what is there prescribed. They will thus gain a habit, and 
custom will make them easily continue of themselves what they 
have at first taken up at the injunction of their spiritual father. 
For they will have found out how useful a thing it is, and will 
be attracted by its pleasantness, for that form suggests short 
exercises of devotion, which are very good : and we have found 
by experience that many who have begun to use it after their 
confessions, have continued to do so to the great profit of their 
souls. For this cause I think it best that you not only should 
give it to those who have been to confession to you, but that 
you should communicate and commend it to any others who 
are taking some pains about their own salvation, even though 
they are the penitents of other priests. And as I see that you 
cannot easily have copies enough of that paper to distribute so 
largely, I would advise you to pest it up in some public place 
suppose, the church of our Lady of Mercy written out on 
a board, so that any one who wants to use it may be able to 
write it out for himself. 

Treat meti t of Novices . 125 

When you have judged any to be fit to help the Society, and 
have duly admitted them into it, you must give them the Exer 
cises for a month, according to our custom, and after this prove 
them by trials of such a kind as that there may be no appear 
ance in them of any ridiculous exposure to the laughter of the 
public. You may tell them, for instance, to wait on the sick in 
the hospitals, and to shrink from no offices, however humble and 
disagreeable, which belong to such a place, and to attendance 
upon them in their cure. You may bid them also go to the 
prisoners in the gaols, and devote themselves with all the sedu 
lity of religious charity to the consolation and recreation of those 
poor souls. And you may let them practise in public any other 
similar duties which unite our own humiliation to the work of 
doing good to others. 

But do not either order or permit them to make sights of 
themselves to the public in such ways as would cause men to 
think them mad. I don t wish the low mob to laugh at them 
and to take pleasure in the mimic, and, as it were, theatrical ex 
posure of such men to ridicule. The people are to be reminded 
by the sight of them of their own duties, and to see in them 
laudable examples of what is right. It will be so if they never 
appear in public except in a dress or guise that belongs to some 
good work, as when they have satchels on their shoulders and 
go from door to door to beg for the indigent, or when in the 
sight of all they carry the contributions which they have col 
lected to the asylum of the poor. These are the sort of victories 
over self and over the world which they should gain ; and the 
people when it sees them should be moved to good, and the 
poor should enjoy the benefit of what they do. 

But even to these trials, which are very disagreeable to 
nature, you must not expose them all indiscriminately. Find 
out first what each man s courage is, and what he can do with 
out trouble. All men have not equal strength difference of 
disposition, of education, of progress in virtue, causes a great 
difference among novices, and this difference must be the first 
thing to be taken into account by any one who has to rule them, 
so that he may settle what sort of exercise suits each, that is, in 

126 St. Francis Xavier. 

what each may be tried in such a way that it may be fairly 
hoped that he will make profit of the trial, according to the 
measure of God s grace communicated to him. Unless the 
Master of Novices has the gift of discernment, it will easily hap 
pen that some will be burthened beyond their strength, and so 
will despond, look back, and go away, while the same men, if 
they had had a more experienced guide, might hereafter have 
made great progress in religious virtue. 

There is another evil in this illadvised enjoining of morti 
fication which exceeds the power and condition of novices who 
are as yet tender babes in the spiritual course for it causes in 
them an aversion to their master, and takes from them all con 
fidence in opening to him their inmost hearts. But you, or any 
other who has to train young souls to religion, must provide, 
with all possible care, that when they feel in their minds the 
suggestions either of depraved nature or of the evil spirit, call 
ing them away from the right path, they should declare them 
as soon as they arise, and be perfectly ingenuous in confessing 
them. Unless they do this, they will never free themselves from 
these snares, they will never make their way through these in 
sidious obstacles to the height of perfection. On the contrary, 
these first seeds of evil which they have unhappily taken in and 
fostered by their imprudent silence about them, will gradually 
grow up into more troublesome disquietudes, until at last they 
will make them become weary of holy discipline, and force then- 
poor conquered minds to look back to the place from which 
they came, shake off the yoke of Christ, and rush again into 
their old free way of living. 

If, either from their own confessions or from any other signs, 
you find any to be violently disposed to vainglory, to indulg 
ence of the desires of the senses, or to any other faults, you may 
use the following useful way of suggesting to them a remedy 
which may suit their danger. Tell them to take a certain time 
to get together arguments of every sort, which they may think 
most efficacious to use to some one who is either puffed up by 
arrogance, or given to self-indulgence, or under the influence 
of any other disease of the soul under which they may be them- 

Remedies for Sinners. 127 

selves suffering, so as either to put him right if he has already 
gone wrong, or to guard him if he is in danger of doing so. 
Point out yourself the books or the passages, and be a guide to 
them in finding matter which may serve their purpose. When 
they have made their collection, order them to make sermons 
out of it, as if they were to have to preach them either in the 
church or in the street, or to the convalescent in the hospital, 
or to the prisoners in the gaol. Then make them actually preach 
these sermons. We may well hope that they themselves will, 
of their own accord, use the remedies which they have pre 
scribed to others, and that these antidotes against what poisons 
the soul will sooner exert their power on the minds of the 
preachers, to which they have been so thoroughly applied by 
the deep study and careful thought which they have spent on 
the subject, than on the hearers, who only casually take cogniz 
ance of the thoughts of others put before them without any pre 
paration on their part. No doubt they will be ashamed to fall 
into a fault from which they have taken so much pains to de 
liver other people. 

You may, with due proportion, use a similar device to cure 
certain sinners of almost desperate perversity. These men say 
they cannot command themselves, so as to put away from them 
selves the occasions of their sins, or to restore the property of 
others which they possess in bad faith. So, of their own will, 
they remain in a sinful conscience, deprived of the sacrament 
of absolution, and quite aware that they are justly denied it. 
And yet the disgrace of the sort of voluntary excommunication 
in which they know themselves to be involved, to the scandal 
of the public, makes them sometimes feel wearied of their ini 
quity, and also from time to time, conceive some fears of the 
danger of eternal damnation in which they live. 

First of all make these men friendly to you by significations 
of kindness, and then suggest to them in their good sense to 
think over what they would say to a friend who was struggling 
with the same difficulties, in order to cause him to rise up out 
of the mire and leap out of the ditch into which he had fallen. 
Ask them pleasantly to make a sort of school exercise of the 

128 St. Francis Xavier. 

matter, and to take the trouble in familiar talk with you to see 
what their own wits will be able to do in inventing arguments 
to be used in persuasion of this head. Hear what they have to 
say, and approve of it, and then gently retort upon them what 
they adduce, and beseech them for the sake of the friendship 
which is between you to do the same kind office to themselves 
which they have done to others, and to take to their own hearts 
and apply to their own wounds the medicine which they think 
to have so much saving power in removing the diseases of their 
friends. God has created their souls to praise Himself, and so 
to gain their own happiness, and when He sees them rushing 
to destruction down the precipitous paths of vice, He gives 
them in His mercy this care for the salvation of others as a sort 
of handle by which they may be drawn back from death. They 
ought first to have true charity for themselves in proportion to 
the love which they bear to others; and He lets this last remain, 
so that they may be turned back thereby to take the necessary 
care for their own salvation which they have neglected so miser 
ably. This same artifice is not to be dispensed with by us r 
whom it becomes as long as life remains and as the opportunity 
of doing so is not taken away, to leave nothing untried in the 
way of bringing souls back to the service of their Creator, and 
prevent their eternal loss. 

There will sometimes come to you in the confessional men 
who are engaged in impure attachments, or who are full to 
overflowing with booty which they have gained by rapine, over 
which they gloat with greedy devotion. As to getting them to 
send their mistresses away from their houses, or to restore to 
others what they have been despoiled of by their unjust prac 
tices, you cannot bring them to this either by love or reverence 
to God, of which they have absolutely nothing left, or by the 
fear of death or of hell, to all sense of which they are hardened. 
There is only one way of terrifying such persons, and that is by 
threatening them with the infliction of the only ills they are 
afraid of the ills of this life. To such men therefore you should 
declare, that shortly, unless they make haste to appease the 
wrath of God, they will find themselves overwhelmed by cala- 

Circumspection. 129 

mities, their goods lost by shipwrecks, the authorities prosecuting 
them, by calumnious lawsuits, tribunals condemning them, by 
long sufferings in prison, incurable diseases in the midst of the 
greatest poverty and destitution, their miseries mitigated by no 
consolation, infamy which will brand them and their posterity 
with an indelible stain, and the public hatred and execration of 
all, such as they remember well were the lot of such and such 
persons whom you may name, well known to them, and who 
deserved such evils no more than they do. Tell them that no 
one can despise God with impunity, and that His wrath is all 
the more irrevocably let loose on men in proportion as He has 
more patiently waited for their repentance. The image of such 
calamities may well strike them with a first impulse of the fear of 
God, which may be the beginning of wiser thoughts, instead of 
the madness in which they have hitherto been involved. 

Whenever you are preparing yourself to talk with any one 
concerning the things which belong to the worship of God and 
the salvation of the soul, put in practice this precaution not 
to say a word before you have divined and discovered by any 
sign you can note what is the interior state of the man s mind. 
I mean whether he is quiet or under the influence of some 
strong passion whether he is ready to follow the right path 
when it is shown him, or whether he is in error with his eyes 
open, irrevocably wedded to low cares and objects, to which he 
has been hitherto in the habit of postponing his religious duties, 
and seems likely to do the same for the future ; whether he is 
the subject of temptations from the devil, or whether he is left 
to himself and his own nature in fine, whether he is disposed 
to listen to an admonition, or whether he is rough and irritable 
to the touch, so that it may be feared that he will break out 
into a rage if he be handled too incautiously. 

When you have got some presumptive knowledge on these 
points, you must adapt your address to the person accordingly. 
Speak gently to the angry, quietly to the troubled, use some 
appropriate artifice to insinuate your business into the mind of 
the preoccupied ; be more free and expansive with well-dis 
posed persons, who are likely to be docile and easily led to 


130 St. Francis Xavier. 

anything that is good. At the same time, never be foolishly 
fawning to any one, never stop short at mere compliments, 
always skilfully mix up some wholesome medicine in what you 
give to the sick man, however much he may turn from it, so 
that by degrees he may be disposed to a better state. When 
any one is all on fire with excitement from a keen sense of re 
cent injury, then do you also blame the deed of which he com 
plains. If it be bad in itself, then use what reasonings you 
can to persuade him that the doer has fallen out of imprud 
ence, and not sinned through malice. When you see that your 
man listens to you, and is not altogether displeased, you may 
add that God has perhaps permitted this in order to punish 
him for some similar offence which he has himself committed. 
Then ask him familiarly, whether he remembers ever to have 
injured any one in word or deed? Whether, at least, in his 
youth he was not somewhat illtempered with his parents, dis 
obedient to his teachers, quarrelsome with his companions, 
and may not have given some one or other just cause to com- 
plain of him ? And when he acknowledges this, tell him that 
he must think it fair that he is now paid off in kind. For now 
he has offered him by God a very precious opportunity of wip 
ing out his former fault. If, on the other hand, his complaint 
be not just, take him in hand gently and gradually, pull to 
pieces the false arguments by which he persuades himself of 
what is so far from being the case. Then increase your bold 
ness little by little, show him a little gentle anger, as he really 
deserves, and then, at last, when you feel you can do it safely, 
give him a more severe scolding. These artifices, by the bless 
ing of God, sometimes charm away the illhumours of men so 
overwhelmed with troubles, and dissolve the sort of spell by 
which they have been bound, so as to leave them free and able 
to do what is right. When you have thus made your way 
easy, you must go on with confidence, and bring your work to 
the greatest perfection in your power, spending yourself to 
the utmost in your desire to do honour to God, and win for 
Him the love and reverence of the souls which He has created 
to love and to praise Him. 

Knowledge of Men. 1 3 1 

The injunction which I have given above namely, that 
you should find out from men who are well acquainted with 
the matter what are the commercial frauds most common at 
Ormuz I would not have confined either to that place in par 
ticular, or to those specific heads of which I spoke. Wherever 
you are, even if it be only in passing and on a journey, always 
make it a point to try to find out as exactly as possible from 
good men who know the ways of common life, not only what 
are the prevalent crimes or customary tricks of cheating in such 
places, but the whole manners of the people there, the opinions 
and prejudices of the populace, what the nation is intent upon, 
what are the peculiar customs of the country, the mode of 
government, the method of the courts, the forms of suits, the 
quibbles of lawyers, and whatever has any sort of bearing upon 
the character of the state or of civil society there. Believe my 
experience, nothing of all this is useless for the physician of 
souls to know, in order that he may at once understand their 
diseases, may easily provide remedies, and may always have at 
command a power of readily and quickly meeting all neces 

This will teach you what to dwell upon most frequently in 
your sermons, and what to insist on urgently with your penit 
ents. This knowledge will arm and prepare you for your pro 
miscuous conversations with men, and you will be so fortified 
by it, as never to be amazed at anything as new, never to be put 
into a ferment at any unforeseen occurrence : it will make you 
feel at home in all the variety of questions that will arise one 
after another, it will make you dexterous in the multiplied 
business you will have to transact with men of all sorts, and 
also give you authority with all. When men of the world are 
admonished of anything by religious persons, they generally 
despise them, because they think that they have no experience 
of affairs. But if they find that any one is quite as well versed 
as they are and has as much experience as themselves in the 
common usages of civil life, they will hold such a one in ad 
miration, trust themselves to him, and will not hesitate when 
he urges them even to do violence to themselves, and to carry 

132 St. Francis Xavier. 

out whatever he advises them, even though it be arduous. So 
you see what great fruit may come from such knowledge, and 
therefore you must now consider that it is your business to- 
labour in acquiring it as much as in old days you laboured to 
learn philosophy or theology. And it must be sought, not 
from dead books written on paper or parchment, but from liv 
ing books that is, from men who have had experience in 
affairs, and who know well the manners of the people. With 
this knowledge you will do more good than if you poured forth 
upon the crowd whole libraries of speculations. 

Wherever this learning of which I speak has won for you 
any kind of authority or consideration with some, remember that 
the first proof of your authority must be to arrange and bring 
about without fail that they make an examination of all the sins 
of their whole life, and then confess them in the sacrament of 
penance, and after this endeavour to excite themselves to a true 
detestation of these sins in a retreat and by meditations adapted 
to them, drawing from them reasons for such detestation from 
the majesty of God and the love which all His creatures owe 
to Him. You may be sure that this is the foundation of every 
thing good, this is the principal thing, to which all others must 
be postponed. 

In the next place take pains to extricate them from the en 
tanglement of legal disputes, which are the seedplots of hatreds- 
and calumnies. Persuade them therefore to put an end to their 
lawsuits by the arbitration of friends, and so save a great deal 
of money, of trouble, and of reputation. If they ask you to be 
arbiter, do not refuse. You can find time for the matter con 
veniently both for them and for yourself on Sundays or days 
otherwise free from the transaction of business, when you can 
hear one after another the complaints or demands of the intend 
ing litigants, and propose some middle plan of compromise, on 
which it may be much better for them to agree than to run the 
daily risk of falling from their condition and making a sad 
shipwreck of their honour, with all the expense, the weary 
delay, the great hazards which they would run through the false 
hoods of bribed witnesses, the deceits of impostors, the num- 

Lawsuits to be hindered. 

berless snares of the gentlemen of the law, the labyrinthine 
mazes of cavilling pleadings, the heat and bustle of the tribu 
nals, the perpetual restless battle of alternate recriminations, 
which will roll on backwards and forwards like the tides of the 
Euripus. If you dwell on these things you will deliver your 
friends who are thinking of entering their causes in the courts 
from the itch for litigation, and it will be still more easy, in the 
case of persons who have already become acquainted with the 
air of the lawcourts and been wearied by the tumultuous con- 
tests of the tribunals, to make them entertain the advice of 
abandoning of their own accord suits which they have begun. 

I know this will not please the attorneys and advocates and 
other forensic leeches of various denominations, who get great 
gains out of the number and length of lawsuits. When such 
persons complain of you on this account, you can partly despise 
their complaint, partly you should attack in your own way any of 
them whom you can reach, making them afraid to practice their 
mischievous tricks of protracting causes by interminable delays, 
and warning them of the urgent danger in which they lie of 
losing eternal happiness. And, that they may look well to an 
affair of so much moment, you can invite them to a few days 
of retreat to be spent in pious meditations. 

You are to remain at Ormuz until you receive letters from 
me ordering you to go somewhere else. Write to me by the 
ships which go to Malacca, directing your packet to Francesco 
Perez. I wish you in these letters to tell me precisely and in 
particular whatever of moment has resulted from your labours. 
Francesco Perez will take care that they are sent on from Ma 
lacca to me in Japan, if it shall please God to send me thither 
for the service of His Divine Majesty. If for the space of three 
years you get no letter from me, nevertheless remain all that 
time at Ormuz, however much you may be invited or called 
elsewhere by any other person, for for the next three years I 
think it well for the glory of God you should remain there, and 
I give you a direct order so to do. 

After the three years have elapsed, if no letter from me 
reaches you, you must still remain at Ormuz until the Rector of 

St. Francis Xavier. 

the College of Santa Fe bids you leave it. So you should then 
write to him at great length what you have up to that time done 
at Ormuz, what fruit you have gathered by the help of God, 
what you expect in future ; tell him also the distinct command 
which I gave you when I went away as to your remaining there 
for three years, even although during that time you might have 
been called away by the Rector at Goa. For the rest, you may 
assure him that since the time fixed by me has expired, you are 
now entirely at his command, and ready to do at once whatever 
he may order you. At the same time lay before him any thing 
which, after you have weighed all before God, may seem to you 
worthy of consideration in deciding what is best either as to 
the opportuneness or as to the necessity of your remaining any 
longer in that post. When he answers this letter, do whatever 
he commands you without any excuse or delay. What I have 
told you as to sending your letter to me from Ormuz to Ma 
lacca, do not understand as if it would be enough to do that 
once a year only. I wish you never to let a single ship sail from 
thence to Malacca without a letter from you to me, directed, 
as I have said, to the care of Francesco Perez. 

When on board the ship in which you are to embark for 
Ormuz, I beseech you to take great care of the layman who is 
given to you as companion. Persuade him to go to confession, 
and when you have brought him by your exhortations to a bet 
ter life, take diligent precaution that he may not go astray again. 
On board ship you must preach on the Sundays, and on other 
days when you think it well so to do. I leave all that matter 
to your own discretion, so as to decide, when you have con 
sidered all circumstances, what is expedient for the moment. 
In your sermons make no display of erudition or of memory, 
reciting a great number of passages as proofs, or authorities from 
the old Fathers. Let a few of these, well chosen, be enough. 
Let a great part of your discourse be taken up with graphic 
descriptions of the interior condition and disorder of souls in 
a state of sin. Let your sermon set before their eyes, and let 
them see in it plainly as in a mirror, their own restless devices, 
their cunning artifices, their most vain hopes and imaginations,. 

Study of Men and Books. i 35 

all the deceitful designs which they entertain in their souls. 
Add also the miserable ends to which all these things lead, un 
ravel the sophisms of the captious suggestions made to them 
by their deadly enemy the devil, show them the way to extri 
cate themselves from his toils, and heap upon them motives of 
fear to terrify them if they do not do this. 

The truth is, that men listen attentively to those things 
above all which reach their inmost conscience. Sublime specu 
lations, perplexed questions, scholastic controversies, soar not 
only above the intelligence of those who are creeping along on 
the ground, but also above their interest. They make a great 
deal of empty thunder and vanish away without any fruit. You 
must show men clearly to themselves, if you wish to have them 
hanging upon the words of your mouth. But to set forth what 
their own interior feelings are, you must first know them ; and 
the only way to know them is to be much in their company, 
to study them, observe them, pray with them. So turn over 
and over again these living books ; it is from these that you 
will gain everything how to teach them with efficacy, how 
easily to act on and affect and turn and move sinners whither 
it behoves them to be moved for their souls salvation. 

Do not however neglect the study of dead books on account 
of this. Holy Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, the sacred 
Canons, ascetical books, and those which treat of moral sub 
jects, duties, rights, and their distinctions all these must be 
diligently consulted at proper times. It is in them that we find 
how to remedy temptations, the arguments by which to per 
suade, the motives of heroic affections, and examples of all that 
is praiseworthy taken from the lives of the Saints. But after all, 
these things have no warmth or life, and are of little avail, un 
less the minds of the audience are first opened so as to admit 
them into their own depths. And the certain key thus to open 
them is that picture and representation of each one s interior 
state of which I have spoken, skilfully drawn by a preacher 
who has full knowledge of the ways of men, and set in a good 
light before the eyes of everybody. 

Since the King in his munificence has ordered that what 

136 St. Francis Xavier. 

is necessary for your support at Ormuz should be provided at 
the expense of his treasury, you should avail yourself of this 
favour from our excellent Sovereign, and accept from his offi 
cials alone the means of which you are in need. What others 
offer you, even of their own accord, reject; for it is of signal 
importance for the authority and liberty of one who has the 
charge of souls to be under no obligation on the score of the 
supply of his food, which is in fact to owe his life and breath, to 
any one of those whom it is his duty to direct in the way of salva 
tion, and to correct and pull up whenever they go astray. The 
common saying is very true as to gifts of this kind : He that 
takes, is taken ; for he loses all confidence as to finding fault 
with or using his right of censure with a man towards whom 
he has allowed himself to take up the humble position of a de 
pendent, and thus bound himself to him by the reverence due 
to a patron. Hence it is that we are sometimes in such diffi 
culties as to finding words in which to reprove people who feed 
us when they deserve reproof; or, if sometimes our zeal and 
sense of duty impose on us to do violence to our shyness in 
this respect, yet still we do not gain much good, for the people 
look down as with a kind of superciliousness as if they were 
our masters, and had lawfully purchased that position, as they 
think, at the cost of the benefits which they have conferred 
upon us. 

This is true in general of all but more particularly is it 
true of certain persons, concerning whom I think it necessary to 
put you on your guard. There are men who are deeply plunged 
m vice, and who will yet affect familiarity with you, and will 
even vie with one another in seeking to win your friendship by 
kind offices. It is not that they have any desire of profiting 
from your conversation and discourse so as to amend their own 
wicked ways, for they have made up their minds to abide in 
them to the last. It is that they wish to stop your mouth and 
tie your tongue, for their own consciousness of guilt warns 
them to be afraid of your censure. I think you should not 
altogether repel these persons, nor entirely reject their good 
offices. Do not refuse eve,n their invitations to dinner, or their 

Residence at Ormuz. 137 

presents, if they are slight and of little value, such as water, 
fresh fruits, and the like, to reject which is commonly con 
sidered among the Portuguese in the East as an insult to those 
who offer them. Let them see plainly, and even declare to 
(them freely, that you accept their presents only on the con 
dition that they are ready to take in good part admonitions 
and exhortations from you ; that you also will promise to come 
and sup with them on the express understanding that they will 
prepare themselves on your invitation to make confession of 
their sins and approach the Eucharistic Banquet in Holy Com 
munion. And those little presents of food and dainties which 
I said had better not be refused for fear of injuring your friend 
ship, send as soon as ever you have received them to the sick 
in the hospitals or to the prisoners in the gaols or to other in 
digent persons. The people will see and approve of and ap 
plaud the use which you make of the presents that you receive, 
and will absolve you from all suspicion of liking delicacies or 
of seeking favours which may turn to your own profit. 

As to where you are to live, you must decide when you get 
to Ormuz, considering the state of things which you find there, 
making your choice to live either in the public hospital, or in 
the house of the Confraternity of Mercy, or in a small house 
near the church, as shall seem most expedient. If it shall hap 
pen that I call you to come to Japan, write at once to the 
Rector of the College here, in two or three different ways by 
the ships which sail to Goa from Ormuz, asking him to provide 
some one of ours who may be fit to help and console the peo 
ple of the lastnamed city, and to send him as soon as possible 
to take your place at that post. 

Finally; I earnestly commend to you to take care of yourself 
beyond everything else. Never cease to remember that you 
are a member of the Society of Jesus. In all the particular 
occasions of doing work of various kinds which will present 
themselves at Ormuz, your own practice and experience on the 
spot will teach you what is most for the service of our Lord 
God. There is no better or surer teacher of prudence than ex 
perience. Be careful diligently to commend me to Him Who is 

138 St. Francis Xavier. 

the Lord of both of us in your own daily prayers, and let those 
whom you direct in the service of God do the same. And let 
my last charge in this long exhortation be this at least once 
a week read over carefully the whole of this paper, lest at any 
time you should fall into some forgetfulness of the things which 
are enjoined to you therein. May God our Lord accompany 
you on your voyage and lead you safe to your destination : and 
may He also abide with us who remain here ! Farewell. 

Goa, March 1549. FRANCIS. 

Gaspar Baertz seems to have left Goa for his mission at 
Ormuz towards the end of March, not long before Francis him 
self started for Cochin, whence he was finally to embark for 
Malacca. In the course of the winter two new priests of the 
Society had been ordained by the Bishop of Goa ; Manuel de 
Monies and Alfonso de Castro, both of whom have been already 
mentioned. Manuel had been destined by Francis Xavier to 
accompany Cipriano on the mission to Socotra, and went to 
Cochin from Goa to meet his colleague ; but at the last moment 
Francis changed his mind, gave up the idea of Socotra for the 
present, and sent Cipriano to Meliapor, determining to take 
Manuel with him to Malacca, and thence to send him to the 
Moluccas. Manuel sang his first mass at Goa soon after his- 
ordination ; Alfonso de Castro seems to have wished to make a 
longer preparation, and embarked without having yet offered 
the holy sacrifice. 

The arrangement to be made at Goa, now that Gaspar 
Baertz was out of the question as Rector of the College there, 
appears to have cost Francis Xavier much anxiety. We have 
already seen that he had had to urge obedience and sub 
mission to the secular Superiors of the College on Father Paul 
of Camerino. 8 This difficulty no longer existed ; and Father 
Paul was a man of very great virtue, humble, simple, sanctified,, 
laborious, and a great lover of poverty and abjection of every 
kind. He had never left Goa since his arrival, and was to 
labour there until his death, eleven years after the date at which 
we have now arrived. His chief work was the unostentatious 
* See Letters 1. and lii. (vol. i. pp. 360-370). 

Paul of Camerino. 139 

hard drudgery of attending to the young native scholars of the 
College, to whose spiritual and bodily welfare he was devoted, 
and whom he succeeded in forming to sober Christian virtue 
and to great zeal for the Catholic faith. He was a man of 
comparatively little learning, and, it would seem, no talent for 
preaching ; and his offer of himself to Ignatius, before leaving 
Rome, as a helper and even servant to the Fathers who were to 
be sent by the Pope to India, may perhaps have been one of 
the incidents which suggested the institution in the Society of 
the grade of Spiritual Coadjutor. Father Paul was quite in 
his element in the continual labours of humility and charity to 
which he had devoted himself, his constancy in which won him 
the esteem and veneration of all who knew him. We are told 
in particular of his devotion to the sick, especially the poor crea 
tures, slaves and others, who were to be found lying in the 
streets, turned out of doors by their masters these he used to 
carry himself to the hospital, and wait upon with a charity 
which moved those who saw it to intense fervour. !) Paul was 
hardly a man for government, and yet Francis Xavier had 
already discerned in Antonio Gomez the defects which might 
render him positively mischievous. Yet Antonio had been 
appointed Rector, as we have seen, by Simon Rodriguez. He 
was a Portuguese, and as such acceptable to the Fathers his 
fellow countrymen scattered over India, and he seems also to 
have stood very high in the favour of the Governor. It is pro 
bable that, if Simon had never made the appointment, Francis 
Xavier would have kept Antonio in a subordinate place ; as it 
was, he hit upon a middle course, which need not have involved 
any inconveniences if it had not been for the character of the 
two men who by it were placed almost side by side. This 
middle course was to continue Antonio Gomez in the Rector 
ship of the College, but at the same time to make Father Paul 
the Superior of the whole Society in India in the absence of 
Francis himself, and therefore Superior also to Gomez. 

The following letter was probably written to serve as a record 

The fullest account of Father Paul is to be found in Bartoli, Asia, 
Ixvii. p. 734 seq. 

140 St. Francis Xavier. 

of this arrangement, and we may discern in its earnest exhort 
ations to peace and harmony the anxiety which Francis felt as 
to what might happen when his back was turned, and when he 
was too far off to remedy any trouble, even by letter. The ex 
hortations of which we speak are addressed to Father Paul, but 
it is not difficult to see that they were meant more for Antonio 
Gomez than for him. 

(LXX.) To Father Paul of Camerino. 

As I am on the point of departing for Japan, I beseech and 
entreat you, the Superior of the College of Goa, by all the de 
sire you have to please our Lord God, and by the love which 
you feel towards our Father Ignatius and the whole of the So 
ciety of Jesus, first and above all things endeavour, by very 
great humility, very attentive circumspection, by always taking 
pain$ most maturely and rightly to make up your judgment in 
everything, to live in tranquillity, concord and love with Antonio 
Gomez and with all our brethren who are scattered in various 
places in India. From the intimate knowledge which I have of 
all the workers of the Society of Jesus who are at present serv 
ing God and the Church throughout these countries, I am easily 
led to think that they do not need a Superior to guide them in 
the way of the service of God, but still, that they may not lose 
the opportunity of earning merit by means of obedience, and 
because the order of right discipline so requires, I think it con 
venient that some one should be set over them to whom they 
are to be subject. And so, relying on your modesty, prudence, 
and knowledge, I have thought it the best thing to do to put 
you over them as their Superior and guide, to whose authority, 
with the limitations which I shall presently point out, all are to 
be subject, whether of our Society or the extern students at 
Goa or elsewhere, who have hitherto been accustomed to obey 
the orders and authority of the Rector of the College of Santa 
Fe. You then will exercise authority over them, until such 
time as some legitimate revocation of the same shall be duly 
signified to you. 

Antonio Gomez. 141 

And now here are the restrictions which I wish to place 
upon that authority, for certain just causes. In the first place, 
I command that Antonio Gomez is to have full and absolute 
rule, with perfect right, over the extern students of the College, 
whether Portuguese or natives. I also appoint that he shall have 
the free administration of the revenues, and all the money of the 
College, to demand and receive it from those who owe it, and 
to spend it on what is necessary for the house as shall seem good 
to him. So you must not interfere in any way with his doing 
this, nor demand any account from him of it. Everything also 
that relates to the dismissal or admission of students, whether 
Portuguese or Indians, by him, you must leave to his cogniz 
ance and judgment, approving as good whatever he may decide, 
and never interposing your own authority as to anything of the 
sort. If you have any difference of opinion with him as to any 
thing of these, give your advice or make your reauest to him, 
but never prescribe anything in a matter of this kind in virtue 
of obedience. Moreover, I commit to him alone the punish 
ments to be inflicted on boys of either kind, as well as the whole 
arrangement of the domestic discipline, and the distribution of 
all offices, and the appointment or choice or rejection of the 
servants of the College. And I order that he shall discharge 
all these duties in his own way, without any questioning or con 
tradiction from you or any one else. 

And here, once more, because the matter is so important, I 
beseech you, and, by the obedience which you have freely pro 
mised to our Father Ignatius, by virtue of which I command 
you what I now write, I adjure you, and entreat you in every 
most efficacious way in my power, that there never come be-, 
tween you and Antonio Gomez any discord or disunion, any 
verbal altercation, any beginning or appearance of quarrel, but 
rather the truest brothership proved by signs from each of you 
that your wills are perfectly united, and that you have the 
greatest love for one another; that you are with one heart bent 
upon promoting, each one on his own part, with the utmost 
diligence, the common good of the whole household. And this 
union of aim should be always manifesting and declaring itself,. 

142 St. Francis Xavier. 

so as to cut away every occasion of offence and murmuring 
whether within or without the College. 

Whenever any of our brethern who are working for the 
benefit of the people of the Promontory of Comorin, by con 
tinually visiting their villages, may write to you, as Niccolo from 
Coulan, or Cipriano from Meliapor, or Melchior Gonzalez from 
Bazain, Francesco Perez from Malacca, or Joam Beira and his 
companions from the Moluccas, to ask for your help with the 
Governor or the Bishop whose favour may happen to be need 
ful to them by reason of some business, or to beg of you for 
any other kind of help or service, spiritual or bodily, whatever 
it may be, of which they chance to be in need, then leave 
everything else and devote yourself to the carrying out their 
requests with the utmost diligence and charity. And speak to 
Antonio Gomez, that he may at once strenuously and with open 
hand do whatever lies in him to do in that regard. And when 
you write to those most laborious and harassed workers, who 
are bearing in the sun and dust the burthen and heat of the 
day at their own extreme cost and sweat, take care that you 
never let the smallest drop whatsoever of sourness find its way 
into your letter, but let it, on the contrary, breathe the most 
exquisite love and sweetness. Let all savour or shadow of re 
proach, or complaint, or all mention of anything that may offend 
them or make them sad, be utterly absent from what you write. 
Supply them at once attentively and liberally with all they ask 
for as necessary for their support, their clothing, for the keep 
ing up or restoring their health ; for you must have deep com 
passion on the great and continual labours which they undergo, 
working with all their might in the service of God, and which 
they bear up under day and night without any admixture of 
human consolation. 

This I would say most especially of those who have the 
care of the Christian congregations in the Comorin Promontory 
and in the Moluccas, for these men are most truly weighed down 
by the overwhelming burthen of a most heavy cross. So, for 
God s sake, lest they should break down under the weight, be 
most careful, with the utmost solicitude of which you are cap- 

Letters to be written. 143 

able, that they never ask in vain or ask t;vice over for anything 
that you understand them to want, either for the comfort of the 
soul or for supplies for the body ; for if these last fail them, it is 
certain that their souls also will grow faint and give way. They 
are in the ranks of the fight, you are safe in the camp, which 
you have to guard ; and I am so decided in my judgment that 
this duty of yours to help them in every way is so just and ought 
to be so entirely put before every other, that I do not hesitate to 
adjure you, in the name of God and of our Father Ignatius, to 
strive with all your might to leave nothing undone on your part 
in the way of the most extreme diligence in discharging it with 
the utmost alacrity, and giving them abundantly, and more than 
abundantly, what they demand. 

And as to what regards yourself more particularly, my dear 
brother, I beseech you again and again to go on increasing in 
virtue by continual progress, letting your wholesome example 
be like a shining light before the eyes of all, as hitherto indeed 
you have always done. Never let an occasion of writing to 
me pass by. I shall expect from you long and full letters, tell 
ing me a number of pleasant things about yourself, about the 
whole community, about your mutual concord, about the in 
separable charity between you and Antonio Gomez, about each 
of our fathers and brothers who are working in the Comorin 
Promontory ; about Cipriano, who is living at Meliapor, about 
those of the Society who have landed from the ships which are 
to come this year from Portugal, who they are, how many of 
them have a good talent of preaching to the people, who are 
priests, who are lay brothers. I require you to be particular in 
telling me which belong to these two classes, their number and 
kind, their names, their qualities, their strength, and the virtues 
which they possess ; all must be written out at length. There 
are at least two certain ways by which you can keep up this 
correspondence with me. Twice every year a King s ship leaves 
Goa : in September for Banda, in April for the Moluccas. Each 
of them touches at Malacca on its way, and there is our brother 
Francesco Perez, who will receive the letters directed to me, 
and will take care to send them to me in Japan, by opportu- 

144 ^ f Francis Xavier. 

nities which will not fail him. And please take care to read 
over the paper which I leave behind me for you once every 
week, and to refresh your memory, not only of my commands, 
but also of me myself, in my absence ; and I write this to be a 
spur to you to make you commend me to God in your prayers, 
and to have me recommended in the prayers of the brethren at 
Goa, and of all your devout penitents, male and female. 

I have charged Antonio Gomez, that if any preachers come 
out from Portugal, he is to send some of them to our stations 
up and down India Cochin, for instance, where there is so 
much want of a good preacher of our Society also to the parts 
about Cambaia, or suppose, the city of Diu. I recommend 
the same matter to you also; so if the ships that are to come 
out this year bring any good supply of men of our Society who 
are good at preaching, arrange with Gomez about distributing 
them conveniently, so that by one or other of you they be with 
out fail sent to the places I have mentioned. And as I am 
afraid that the many occupations which your manifold duties 
of government involve will not easily leave you any free leisure 
for writing diligently and minutely to me all these things which 
I desire to know, I think you should commit this as a business 
to our good Dominic, or to some other of the Portuguese in the 
house, and order him carefully to collect and make notes of all 
things that are worth knowing, the news of which from time 
to time may come to Goa by various hands, concerning our 
Fathers who are scattered in the various missions or stations, 
and particularly about Caspar, who is at Ormuz. Just before 
the regular time for the departure of the ships for Malacca you 
can collect what he has written, and put it up in a packet 
directed to me, and add in your own hand anything that you 
may happen to have to inform me about in private. 

As you have never yet had the opportunity of seeing with 
your own eyes the work that is going on in the various missions 
which depend upon this College, or what is the state of the 
places in which our Fathers are labouring, and as you have had 
no experience of the sort of life they lead in the Comorin 
Coast, at Meliapor, at Coulan, in the Moluccas, at Malacca, 

Missioners not to be moved. 145 

and at Ormuz, I would never have you by an absolute com 
mand bid any one of those who are working there come to you. 
For it may happen that on account of your ignorance of what 
is going on in those places you might by so doing give a fatal 
blow to some good work already begun, and there might be 
some matters on which great exertions have been spent, and 
which have thus been brought very near a prosperous issue after 
having had long to wait for it, which might be altogether thrown 
into confusion by your calling away those engaged in the work 
at an inopportune moment, and mischief might be done to the 
cause of the salvation of souls and of God s glory which it 
would be very difficult to repair. This is the reason why I am 
writing as I am at this moment to Father Antonio Criminale, 
not himself to leave his post at the summons of any one what 
soever, and not to permit any one of his fellow workers in 
teaching religion to the Christians of Comorin to leave his 
station, whoever it may be who recalls him, unless, looking at 
the circumstances on the spot, he thinks it can be done without 
any inconvenience. I give the same orders to the others who 
are on the same stations, neither themselves to leave work 
which they have begun, nor to permit their companions in 
labour to be taken away from their work and go elsewhere, for 
to do this would be to spoil great hopes and to lose precious 
opportunities of enlarging the kingdom of Christ, by retiring at 
an improper time and at a moment when to do so is greatly 
injurious to the interests of God s service. So it will be more 
prudent for you never to interpose your authority in these mat 
ters or to give in virtue of obedience a command as to which 
you are not sufficiently certain whether it is expedient that it 
should be carried out or not. 

However, though I particularly forbid that any one of ours 
who is labouring in the missions should be ordered by you to 
come to Goa, unless you have first inquired as to their opinion 
in the matter and ascertained their consent, yet, on the other 
hand, if any of them from urgent causes come to you without 
your orders, I bid you receive them very kindly, treat them 
with special charity, and attend to their wants with all good- 


146 St. Francis Xavier. 

will, whether it be that they want some bodily remedies or re 
lief, or whether their souls are out of order, and they have come 
either of their own accord, by reason of their own danger, or 
by the persuasion or bidding of their companions who may feel 
some brotherly anxiety about them, to seek some spiritual me 
dicine, confession or correction, or a few days of retreat. All 
these good offices you are to show them with all fatherly charity, 
taking care that they do not perish, or get any hurt to their 
souls. And now, my dearest Brother Paul, I do most urgently 
entreat you to observe all these things which I have said in 
this letter. 

Entirely yours, 
April 1549. FRANCIS. 

We find in the foregoing letter an enumeration of the stations 
of the several Fathers in India, which records the final arrange 
ments made by Francis before sailing for Malacca. Niccolo 
Lancilotti was at Coulan, Melchior Gonzalez at Bazain, and 
Cipriano at Meliapor. Antonio Criminale was still the Supe 
rior of the Fathers on the Comorin Coast and in Travancore. 
The strict prohibitions issued, by Francis against the removal 
of any of these missionaries from their post must have very 
much curtailed the powers, which would otherwise have been 
exercised by the Superior at Goa. We have seen the severe 
injunction laid on Gaspar Baertz with regard to Ormuz. The 
disposal of the Fathers who might arrive from Portugal after the 
departure of Francis is left to some extent to Antonio Gomez, 
who is apparently associated with Paul of Camerino in the go 
vernment of these new subjects. We shall observe something 
of the same sort further on. It is probably to be accounted for 
by the fact that not only was Gomez a Portuguese, while Paul 
of Camerino was an Italian, but that Gomez, as has been said, 
had been appointed Superior by Simon Rodriguez, and it was 
probable therefore that the new comers, who were likely to be 
Portuguese themselves, would be addressed to him. Francis 
was therefore obliged to provide against any clash of authority 
in the way indicated, and he may well be supposed to have 
half foreseen the difficulties to which Master Simon s unfor- 

Sailing for Malacca. 147 

tunate appointment might ultimately lead. But he had now 
done what he could to secure the good conduct of the affairs 
of the Society at Goa, and provided by earnest injunctions the 
largest and most charitable succour possible for the hardworked 
missionaries throughout India in any need that might come 
upon them. Here, again, we may be sure that the rules which 
he gives to Father Paul were but the expression of his own 
overflowing lovingheartedness whenever he had the opportunity 
of assisting his brethren. The time was now come for him to 
sail again eastwards, and on the 25th of April he embarked at 
Cochin 10 for Malacca, taking with him, as has already been said, 
Father Cosmo Torres, Joam Fernandez, Anger otherwise Paul 
of the Holy Faith, and the other Japanese, Emmanuel, a 
Chinese student of the College of Santa Fe, as well as Al 
fonso de Castro, Manuel de Moraes, and a brother, Francesco 
Gonzalez. The three last were destined for the Moluccas. 
During the few days that the party spent at Cochin, Alfonso de 
Castro so won upon all who saw him and heard him preach, 
that the inhabitants petitioned Francis to leave him with them 
to found a college of the Society. But Francis was inexorable. 
Alfonso was destined to win a crown of martyrdom in the Mo 

10 It was on this voyage to Cochin that the anecdote occurred which is 
mentioned vol. i. pp. m, 112, of Don Diego di NoroiTa, who was at lii-4 
scandalized by the familiar manner in which Francis conversed with the 
-sailors, soldiers, and others who were on board with him. 

Francis starting for yap an. 

THE voyage of Francis Xavier and his little band of com 
panions from Cochin to Malacca was prosperous, though Lu- 
cena speaks of one storm in the course of the passage, when the 
captain was so alarmed at the danger which threatened his 
heavily-laden vessel that he had given the order to throw some 
of his cargo overboard, but was prevented by the intercession 
of Francis, who assured him that the wind would fall, and that 
they would sight the land before night. All came about as he 
had said. But this incident probably belongs to a later voyage 
to the same place. This voyage, however, had its memorable 
conversion. A man of noble birth was one of the passengers, 
and he was accompanied by a woman with whom he was living 
in a scandalous manner. Francis, as usual, made himself the in 
timate and affectionate friend of this poor sinner, and paid him 
so much attention, without taking the least notice of the well- 
known profligacy of his life, that, as Lucena tells us, those on 
board the vessel were inclined to say of him as the Pharisee 
said of our Lord, that if he had been a prophet he would have 
known what sort of a person his chosen companion was. 
When they disembarked at Malacca the victory was won. 
Sir, it is now time ! said Francis. The man was at his feet in 
a moment, he made his confession, provided for the poor wo 
man, and began to lead a good life. 

Francis was received with great joy at Malacca. He had 
not been at that city since a short time after the great defeat 
of the Acheenese fleet ; and besides, the zeal and charity of 
Francesco Perez and Rocco Oliveira had produced a great 
change for the better in the population. They came to meet 
him at the port, singing the canticles of the Christian doctrine 
which he had taught them. 

Affairs at Malacca. 149 

Francis himself, in a letter which we shall presently insert, 
.gives an account of the extraordinary fervour and almost super 
human exertions of Father Francesco Perez and his companion. 
The humility, poverty, and mortification in which they lived, 
preached as powerfully as the words which the Father uttered 
in the pulpit, and they had already received several applica 
tions from men who desired to be admitted to the Society. 
As they had no power to receive postulants, they could only 
.give the applicants the Spiritual Exercises, and practise them 
in some of the trials which were usual in such cases. The 
most conspicuous of these recruits was a young Portuguese ot 
noble family, nineteen years of age, Joam Bravo by name. 
He had probably come out to India to seek his fortune either 
as a soldier or a merchant, and had chanced to sail to Malacca 
from Goa in the King s ship, bound for the Moluccas, com 
manded by a relation of his own, Don Diego Sousa, in which 
ship Francesco Perez and his companion had been conveyed. 
Bravo was- attracted to thoughts of a more perfect life, and to 
the Society, by observing the holy, mortified lives of Perez and 
Oliveira. After making the Exercises, he would have returned 
at once to Goa to seek his admission from the hands of Francis 
Xavier, but that the arrival of the Father at Malacca was 
known to be so close at hand that he might have crossed him 
on his way. Bravo, therefore, waited. Meanwhile, he strug 
gled vigorously to conquer himself in all possible ways, waiting 
on Perez and the other as their servant, attending the sick in 
the hospital, going about the city to beg for food and alms : a 
greater humiliation to him than it might have been to others, 
as he was well known and had many noble relatives who 
laughed at him and reproached him. Francis Xavier received 
him into the Society, and took the pains to give him a care 
fully drawn paper of instruction, which is happily preserved to 
us. Joam Bravo afterwards became a very eminent Father in 
the Society, and spent his life in the Indies. 

The time passed by Francis at Malacca before embarking 
for Japan was rather more than three weeks, as we are told 
that he arrived on the last day of May. Before proceeding 

150 St. Francis Xavier. 

further with our narrative, we may here insert some of the 
letters written during this interval of preparation. The first is 
to the King, in which Francis formally announces his intention 
of sailing, without fail, to Japan. It is pleasant to find him 
speaking so gratefully of the assistance afforded to him by the 
Governor of Malacca, Don Pedro de Silva, who remained ai- 
. ways a firm friend to Francis Xavier. He was the third son of 
the great Vasco de Gama, the discoverer of the route to India 
by the Cape of Good Hope. On his return to Portugal Vasco 
was made a Count, and also created Lord High Admiral ; 
and we shall find Francis speaking of him under these titles. 
His eldest son was Estevan de Gama, of whom we have already 
heard, as Governor of India before Martin Alfonso de Sousa. 
The second son was Cristoval, the famous captain in the Portu 
guese invasion of Abyssinia in 1541. Pedro was the third son. 
The fourth will appear later on in our history in colours as dark 
as those in which his three brothers are painted are bright. He 
was the Don Alvaro d Ataide, the Capitan of Malacca in 
1552, who opposed to the utmost the embassy to China, on 
which Francis Xavier had reckoned to secure him an entrance 
into that country. 

(LXXI.) To John III King of Portugal. 

Sire, I had often heard and deeply considered the many 
and marvellous things which various persons and those good 
judges in the matter, as having been themselves on the spot 
report concerning a remarkable disposition which is observed 
in the island of Japan for the reception of our holy religion. 
Upon this I thought that I ought strongly and urgently to be 
seech our Lord God to vouchsafe to let me feel some interior 
movement in my heart which might signify to me whether it 
were His holy will that I should go thither, and also to give 
me strength to accomplish what He might command me. It 
has pleased His Divine Majesty to grant my prayer. For I 
feel the most intimate certainty and conviction in my mind, 
that it is expedient for the service of God that I should go to 

The Capital of Malacca. 1 5 1 

Japan. This has given me a ready and vigorous confidence, 
and I have put an end to all delay in the matter by sailing 
from India, that I may follow the undoubted call of God, Who 
urges me on to this voyage by frequent and strong interior im 

We have now got as far as the port of Malacca on our way 
to Japan. There are two of our Society with me, and three 
Japanese Christians, lately converted, but very good. After 
having been fully instructed in the mysteries and doctrines of 
the life and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, they were bap 
tized at Goa in the College of Santa Fe. They have learned 
to read and write in our manner, they recite the prayers of the 
Chunh, and make meditation at regular hours. What moves 
and affects them most of all is the consideration of the labours 
and sufferings of Christ, and the remembrance of His cross and 
death. They often meditate upon these things with very deep 
and strong sentiments and very tender affections. They have 
exercised their minds with very great attentiveness in the ascetic 
medititions of Father Ignatius, and have carried away from 
them most remarkable fruits in the clearer knowledge of God. 
They frequent of their own accord the sacraments of confes 
sion and communion, and they feel urged to join us in this 
voyage to their own country by .great desires of leading their 
own people to the religion of Christ. 

Wt, the six whom I have mentioned, arrived at Malacca on 
the la;t day of May of this year 1549. The Commandant of 
the fortress of Malacca has received us with the usual kindness. 
He al once offered us most readily all the favour and assist 
ance tiat could be expected from him towards the carrying out 
and promoting this expedition of ours, undertaken, as it is, 
with g-eat hopes of serving God and pleasing your Highness : 
and hs sedulous carefulness in all good offices has gone far 
even Deyond the courtesy of his words. He has put himself 
to so much pains in seeking for us a comfortable ship, and pro- 
vidin; us with every other convenience for going whither we 
are bDund with all safety and ease, as to fulfil most abundantly 
all tie liberal and kind promises which he made to us on the 

St. Francis Xavier. 

first day of our landing here. Nothing could exceed his ex 
treme courtesy in readily and with full goodwill offering to us 
whatever was in his own power to give ; and as for what had to 
be obtained for us from others, by canvassing, influence, and 
request, he has exerted himself so much in bringing people 
round to us by every effort in his power, and doing all he can 
to make them well disposed to us, and he so has worked in 
our cause in a way that has shown us signally his very tender 
charity towards us, that we feel ourselves quite unable ever to 
reward his goodness to us as it deserves. If he had been our 
own brother we could not have expected from him any greater 
or more efficient kindness. So that I pray and beseech n>u, 
Sire, that, for the love which you have for God our Lord, your 
Highness will condescend to repay in our stead the very ^reat 
debt we owe to Don Pedro de Silva on this account. Hs has 
commanded that we should be largely supplied with whatever 
is necessary for us, not only for our support during the voyage 
from this place to Japan, but also for our expenses anc sus 
tenance during a considerable stay in that country, as well as 
for the building of a chapel in which we may offer the holy 
sacrifice of the mass to God. For this particular purpoie he 
has given us thirty measures of the best pepper picked out of 
the whole quantity that was then at Malacca. He has also 
given us many beautiful and very costly presents to ofer to 
the King of Japan, that he may be favourably inclined to us 
by means of them, and so be more easy in admitting us into 
his kingdom and tolerating us there. 

I tell your Highness all these particulars, that you msy un 
derstand what benefits and honours I receive from your fathful 
subjects in the Indies. I really believe, Sire, that I shall spe^k the 
simple truth when I say that no one ever came to India wl:o has 
received so much honour and favour from the Portuguese who 
reside there as has been shown by them to me. The whle of 
this I owe to your Highness, and to your frequent and effcient 
recommendations of me to those who are the administrators of 
your Highness s royal power throughout the countries of the 
Indies. And as among them Don Pedro de Silva, the Com- 

Letter to the King. 153 

mandant of your fortress of Malacca, has been signally eminent 
in assisting me, paying me honour, and making me presents, 
and has bound me to him by a series of benefits which my own 
want of means and power forbid me from ever returning in 
kind as they deserve, I beg your Highness to allow me to find 
in your liberality the means of supplying the deficiency caused 
by my poverty. I shall gain all I want if your Highness will 
vouchsafe for my sake to show large and bountiful favour to 
this good officer, and to others who have made me so deeply 
their debtors, and thus repay back to them that which I owe 
to them without having the means of rewarding them. 

May our Lord God of His infinite goodness and mercy fully 
and thoroughly enlighten the mind of your Highness with the 
clear knowledge of His holy will, and give you moreover the 
grace perfectly to execute what you know to be pleasing to 
Him, exactly as you would rejoice to have done at the mo 
ment of your death, when you will be placed before the judg 
ment seat of God to give an account of all that you have done 
throughout your whole life. Most strongly do I again and 
again beseech you, Sire, not to be slow about at once doing, 
in preparation for that last trial and decisive moment, every 
thing that can now be done in the way of dispatch and antici 
pation. For at the time of our last sickness, and when death 
is at hand and draws nigh, then the wretched mind of the sick 
person is so fixed upon what it has to suffer for the moment, 
the anguish, the bitter and numberless sorrows which then press 
upon it, as by no means to have time to attend to other cares 
or thoughts except those which that terrible scene, which then 
for the first time presents itself to the soul, strikes home to it 
thoughts very sad indeed and very tormenting, though to no 
profit, the images of which no one can form for himself unless 
he has had experience of them. 

Your Highness s useless servant, 


Malacca, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1 549. 

The next letter, written at the same time, is to the Fathers 
at Goa. 

Francis Xavier. 

(LXXII.) To Fathers Paul of Camerino, Antonio 
Gotucz, and Balthasar Gago. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ be ever 
in our souls ! Amen. 

I write these few lines to you hurriedly, for I am quite sure 
that you will not fail to be pleased to hear how our voyage has 
fared, and about our arrival at Malacca. We sailed from Co 
chin on April 25th, having first experienced there an incredible 
amount of kindness at the hands of the Franciscan Fathers. 
They received us with the greatest show of charity, and there 
was certainly no room for any suspicion that it was not sincere. 
We owe them very much on that account, and shall always ac 
knowledge that we owe it. Our run to Malacca took us not quite 
forty days. We arrived there strong and vigorous, both myselt 
and Father Cosmo Torres and the rest ; no one was ill, no one 
had even sea-sickness, or even the slightest tendency to inter 
nal derangement. The weather during the whole voyage was 
very fair. No danger or even alarm from the Acheenese pirates. 
Such prosperity did it please our Lord God to grant to that our 
voyage, to Whom we one and all pay very great praises and 
thanksgiving on that account, and we beg also that you will do 
the same for us. We disembarked at this port of Malacca on 
the last day in May. 

The Commandant and the whole city, from the highest to 
the lowest, received me with great marks of joy and goodwill. 
Onour first interview I commended to the kindness of the 
Commandant the voyage we intend to make to Japan. He at 
once in the most ample manner offered all that was in his 
power, and then carried out in deed with very great diligence 
what he had promised. He has shown so much kindness and 
activity that he has wonderfully bound us and all our Society 
to him thereby. In all the pains which he took about our 
business his very great love to us was conspicuous. Indeed, for 
our sole sake and at his own expense he was willing to fit out 

Letter to Goa. 155 

and send a Portuguese ship to Japan, and he would have done 
it also, if he had been able to find a vessel fit for the purpose. 
When this plan became impossible, he bethought him of a 
Chinese vessel of the form which they call a junk. The cap 
tain of this is a Chinese, by name Ladro, and though an idola 
ter, he has a home and family at Malacca. This man promised 
that he would take us straight to Japan, but the Commandant 
did not think that it was safe to trust too lightly to the word of 
a heathen, so he exacted a contract, by which the man pledged 
as the security for the promise he had made his wife and his 
whole household property, on condition that unless it be shown 
by letters in our own handwriting which he brings back from 
Japan that he has taken us thither straight according to the agree 
ment, his wife whom he leaves at Malacca and all that he pos 
sessed in the Portuguese dominions should become confiscated 
to the royal treasury. Besides this, the Commandant has 
furnished us in the most provident liberal manner with all things 
that we require for the voyage as far as Japan, and for estab 
lishing a home there for ourselves. He has also spent two- 
hundred gold pieces upon presents for the King of Japan, to 
make him favour us and our preaching. We sail to Japan in 
a straight course, without making any delay at all in the ports 
of China. We trust that God will prosper our voyage, and bring 
us in safety to that country where His holy Name may be glo 
rified, being made known by us first of all to those blind nations. 
On Trinity Sunday Alfonso duly offered his first mass to 
God, with solemn music and all full ceremonies, having a dea 
con and subdeacon to assist him. A great number of clerics 
in surplices came in solemn procession to the house of the 
Confraternity of Mercy, where we were lodged, and conducted 
the new priest, whom we also followed, to the principal church 
of the town, and after the mass was over they brought us back 
to the same place. He was assisted in this function by the 
Vicar of the Bishop and our Father Francesco Perez, Father 
Cosmo Torres doing the part of deacon. The same day I preached 
a sermon to the people, who were wonderfully delighted and 
deeply moved to reverence at so grand a ceremony, having never 

156 St. Francis Xavier. 

seen a first mass offered to God with so much ceremony so 
carefully observed. 

I expect to receive from you a letter, lengthy and diligent, 
telling me clearly and particularly both all about the general 
state of the whole College, and how each one of the fathers 
and brothers who are living there are, how he is in health? 
what he is doing, what progress he makes, how industriously 
and how fruitfully he is labouring. You will grudge me a thing 
which produces the sweetest possible fruit in my soul, if you 
cheat me of any part of this information which I desire so much. 
Besides this, I desire to know how many of our Society have 
landed from the ships which have come from Portugal, of what 
quality they are, how many of them are priests, or clerics, or 
lay brothers, whether any of them have a gift for preaching 1 , and 
how great a gift, and what other good endowments they pos 
sess. I should like this subject of itself to fill two or three 
sheets of large paper. Lastly, tell me about all our brothers 
in the Comorin Coast, those who are at Coulan, Meliapor, Or- 
muz, and Bazain ; write so as I may know everything as if I 
had it there before my own eyes. This letter I wish one of you 
two, Father Paul or Father Antonio, to write to me, and be 
sides that, I wish you to tell each one of our fathers and bro 
thers who are living with you, that I beg them very much not 
to think it too much trouble to write to me letters of their own 
telling me the state of their souls. Such is my special affection 
to each one that it will be a delight to me to hear what are the 
heavenly gifts by which each one is refreshed by God, what are 
his peace and joy of mind, what the alacrity with which he 
presses on to perfection by his service to God our Lord. I 
should wish also that some one of the native students- suppose 
Diego of Mozambique should write to me in the name of all, 
and do not let our people wait till I extract from them letters 
in return by sending them letters of my own to begin with, for 
though I have quite charity enough for this, yet I have not 
leisure enough, as all may easily see. I wish this letter to be 
communicated to them all, and they each one to receive it as 
written to himself by name. All these letters which I speak 

Letter to Goa. 157 

of are to be sent, as I have before told you, to Malacca to 
Francesco Perez, who will take care to send them on straight 
to me in Japan. 

Remember yourselves, and take care, I beseech you, that 
all our Fathers and brothers remember also, earnestly to com 
mend to God in their daily intercessions and prayers, the Com 
mandant of Malacca as if he were myself. The benefits he has 
conferred upon us and upon the whole Society are so splendid, 
that we are altogether unable to repay him, unless we obtain 
help from the almighty beneficence of God our Lord to make up 
for our poverty and weakness, and so free us from the very 
disgraceful stain of ungrateful hearts. The letters from Lisbon 
or Coimbra or Rome from Father Simon or others which you 
will receive directed to me, I have already told you to send to 
Malacca by the ship which leaves Goa for Banda ; but if they 
do not come to hand in time for that, then let them at least be 
put on board the King s ship which is to be sent in April to 
Ternate, and by the same means and occasion do not forget to 
inform our Fathers in the Moluccas of all that has happened 
worth mentioning in Europe and in the Indies. 

But if you shall see in the bundle of letters for me from 
Europe any that have the royal seal upon them, as to these I 
give you this particular order. You must unseal those copies 
of them which come to you by the first ship, and read them, 
then make them up again into a packet and send them to Ma 
lacca. I wish these letters to be read first by you two, Father 
Paul and Father Antonio, for this reason because I think 
there will be in them some mention of two matters of business 
for the full execution of which in my absence you will have of 
necessity to do something. A long time ago I wrote to the 
King about Donna Isabella, formerly Queen of Ternate, the 
mother of the King who reigned there before the present King. 
When I was there this lady became a Christian by my ministry. 
I also wrote about Balthasar Velo/, a near connection of the 
King of the Moluccas whose sister he has married ; a man full 
of great love to our Society, who is very diligent and very use- indeed in working for the conversion of the heathen to our 

St. Francis Xavier. 

Lord. The King is always so kind to me that I have reason 
to hope that he will answer me on these two heads, and in 
deed I expect that very probably certain royal diplomas which 
I have endeavoured to obtain in favour of both these persons 
who have deserved so well of religion will be sent along with 
these letters to me. If it turns out that I am not deceived 
in this, then I again and again entreat you to forward these 
diplomas, with the greatest care, to the charge of our Fathers 
at Ternate by the royal ship which leaves Goa for the Moluccas 
in April. 

But if the King s letters say nothing about this, and if there 
is not to be discovered in the whole packet any letter from the 
King directed to both or at least to one of these two persons, 
then I beseech you Father Paul and Father Antonio to go at 
once to call on the Lord Governor and pray him very earnestly 
to let examination be made whether in the packet of letters 
from the King to himself which has just arrived, there be found 
orders as to an annual pension to be paid to Queen Isabella ; 
or as to a certain honour or exemption granted to Balthasar 
Veloz by favour of his highness. And if these are found, then 
prevail upon the Governor both to do of his own accord every 
thing else that may be necessary to give a full practical effect 
to the liberality of the King, and also to intrust the diplomas 
to you, who will take care that they be delivered to those whom 
they concern. That which relates to the Queen Isabella it will 
be enough for you to commit to our Fathers who are stationed 
at Ternate ; as for that which is for Balthasar Veloz, I think 
you should address that yourselves in a special packet with 
letters from you, filled with every kind of expression of gratitude 
and desire to serve him, taking great care to let him see that 
by doing benefits to those of ours who are within his reach, he 
binds to himself all the members of the Society in every place 
to a return of goodwill, which will always show itself by efficient 
service whenever occasion arrives. 

And now, Father Antonio Gomez, I urge upon you in the 
strongest and most urgent manner I can, to show with all dili 
gence to the Reverend Fathers of the Order of St. Francis and 

Courtesy to other Orders. 159 

St. Dominic I had almost said, not only reverend, but to be 
honoured by us as the blessed in Heaven are honoured the 
highest possible charity, the most humble veneration and the 
most obsequious devotion in every thing, not only paying ex 
quisite respect to them as a body, but also proving to them 
each singly, as you have to deal with him, your true and most 
sincere love by means of every kind of courtesy and attention. 
And make it a rule that every kind of dissension with them, 
every beginning or appearance whatsoever of rivalry or jealousy, 
is to be avoided by you and by all of ours as you would avoid 
a wild beast or a venomous serpent. And as to this matter 
consider this that in order to prevent feuds, and in order to 
extinguish in their very birth the enviousness and the suspicions 
which are the seeds of discord, nothing can serve more effica 
ciously than that every one of our Society should show the ut 
most modesty at all times, modesty not at all put on or false, 
but founded on that intimate lowliness of heart which induces 
of itself to all external humility. And I would have you by no 
means keep shut up in your own minds these your thoughts and 
affections towards those most honourable religious of those 
illustrious Orders, but show them in action, visiting them courte 
ously from time to time, and as far as may be upon any occa 
sions which you may take advantage of, or even which you look 
out for, winning their goodwill by all kinds of honour and atten 
tion ; and let the public itself see this, so that those who desire 
to see priests contending with one another, may understand at 
once that they must hope for no spectacle of the sort from you 
or on account of you. Moreover you must make it a study to 
win to yourselves the very populace itself and every human 
being of whatever kind where you are, and cause all to bear 
you goodwill, for their own sake. For that is the only way for 
you to be able to help them for the salvation of their souls. 
And the principal means and hope of gaining this kind of 
popularity popularity not sought for the sake of gain, but in 
the cause of religion lies in this, that in all your words and 
deeds and gestures you show in your daily conversation the 
perfectly modest composure of a mind that despises itself, true 

j6o St. Francis Xavier. 

fraternal love amongst yourselves, and towards all others ii> 
general the most unfeigned charity, ever ready to show itself in 


This last matter, I mean as far as relates to love among 
our own people for one another, I wish you, Father Paul, who- 
are the Superior of the rest, to consider as particularly addressed 
to yourself. Take it in good part that I pray you here again 
once more, and that I beseech you to leave nothing undone 
that can make you an object of love to our brethren who are 
under your rule, and to think it a much more important thing 
that they love you with all their heart than that they obey your 
very nod. What follows now is for all of ours in India. I now 
give them warning that they should be prepared in mind and 
ready at a signal, if perchance I should find that there is greater 
opportunity of working with ease and profit in Japan than 
where they are, and should call them to come in large numbers 
to the richer harvest there. I quite expect that I can hardly fail 
very soon to summon some of them thither, and that the rest 
will have to follow after no long interval, as soon as the first 
successes have given us a pledge for further hope. 

All of you take the most constant care that the Bishop 
may always have towards you the most lively goodwill and the 
most hearty favour. I would not have you content yourselves 
with mere signs of honour and barren declaration of veneration 
as the proofs of your devotion to his service you must go be 
yond even all manifestations of the most submissive reverence 
to him, and as far as he may permit you, take upon yourselves 
a share of his labours, and by very readily putting on your own 
shoulders a part of that immense weight of work which is so 
heavy upon him, of his care of all the Churches, in as far as he 
may desire to let you bear the burthen for him, relieve the grey 
hairs of that excellent old man and father, the supreme ruler of 
what belongs to the Christian religion in these parts. You must 
accomplish to the very utmost all his commands, and execute 
his desires even if they are only hinted to you by a nod, and 
in this matter I would have you make no limit at all to your 
obedience to him, except only that which is the utmost limit 

Preachers for the Portuguese. 161 

of your whole strength strained as far as is possible to you with 
all the exertions you are capable of. 

In the next place, I must communicate to you the anxiety 
which torments me, that, as far as our moderate powers allow, 
we should repay the great debt which we owe to our excellent 
and most liberal King for the great benefits with which he so 
unceasingly honours us, and also to the Portuguese in India for 
the very great love with which they treat us. It is easy to see 
that it is not in our power to return their good favour in any 
other way than by prudently and constantly applying ourselves, 
by means of the ecclesiastical ministrations of our Institute, to 
the work of securing the eternal salvation of the Portuguese 
wherever they are, either passing from place to place or fixed 
as residents. This work especially requires good preachers, 
and it has been long a pain to me that such preachers are sadly 
wanted in many settlements of the Portuguese, which are now 
numerous enough and are in great need of such helps. Even 
if we had not a duty of gratitude to make us supply such a need, 
we should be obliged to it by a feeling of common charity. 

Now this want is felt more especially in Cochin and Bazain. 
For this reason I feel obliged, Father Antonio Gomez, to order 
you in virtue of holy obedience, that when the preachers who 
are expected very soon from Portugal arrive, you send one of 
them at once to Bazain and another to Cochin, even if there 
come no more than two, and there should be no one left for 
the College at Goa. For you yourself can go on doing that 
work as you have done hitherto ; and see that you make no 
delay at all about this. Besides that my own formed opinion 
and certain judgment make me give this order, I have also 
pledged myself as to this to his lordship the Bishop, to whom 
I now write that I have ordered that it should be so done, 
every other consideration being postponed. May God our 
Lord in His infinite mercy thoroughly impress upon our minds 
a clear knowledge of His own most holy will, and at the same 
time furnish us continually with strength to obey it, with all that 
utmost and full perfection with which we should rejoice to have 
obeyed it at the moment of our death. 


162 St. Francis Xavier. 

I explained to you in the letters which I wrote from Cochin 
how necessary it is that a house should be given to the Society 
at Coulan, to which our fathers who are labouring in the in 
struction of the Christians along the Comorin Coast may betake 
themselves, and from which they may start from time to time, and 
in which there may also be set up a school for the boys of those 
countries; to which also our missionaries who break down under 
the immense fatigue of that work they have to do, whose strength 
gives way from time to time and who contract very serious 
diseases, may be taken and receive all due care. So, my bro 
ther Antonio Gomez, arrange with the Governor and with the 
Chief Treasurer to find some way of bringing about this good 
work, which will not bear delay, by sending as soon as may be 
to Father Niccolo at Coulan some money or some other means 
by which he may be able at once to set in operation so very 
urgent a business. 

What I am now going to add concerns you, Father Bal- 
thasar Gago, for I want your help in a certain business. I have 
already charged Father Paul and Father Antonio to send me in 
formation about our domestic affairs, under which name I may 
include all that relates to the persons, the houses, and the acts 
of our fathers and brothers of the Society in India. But it is 
necessary also, or at least very useful, that I should have in 
telligence of what goes on in distant parts and what is done by 
externs. This business I have set apart for you, confiding very 
much in your charity towards me, so I pray you take the trouble 
for me to look through the letters and despatches concerning 
European affairs which are brought to India, and also to make 
inquiries of persons who come out hither, and then from what 
you have read and heard make a selection for me, under these 
heads which I mention. What is the condition of our Society 
at Rome ? How much has the College at Coimbra increased ? 
Whether in either place any, and how many, of ours offer them 
selves to be sent out to help us here ? Does the business of 
the mission to Ethiopia go on well, or is it abandoned ? Has 
the Patriarch who was to have been sent out here been as yet 
named ? How soon is it said that he will sail ? What is our 

News from Europe. 163 

good Father Simon thinking of, or what is he doing? What 
are the reverend fathers of the Franciscan and Dominican 
orders undertaking in India ? What is the fruit which results 
from their labours for souls ? Have they had supplies of their 
own brethren sent out to them from Europe, especially of 
preachers ? I wish also that you would particularly tell him 
whether our good friend Cosmo Anez is well and flourishing ? 
With what good success does our Lord God prosper his home 
and family? And then at the end tell me what I delight to 
hear about yourself, your health, your progress in the spiritual 
life, the desires you feel of doing great things and suffering hard 
things for the glory of Christ. And although I know that you 
will do all this of your own accord and very willingly for my 
sake, because you are so good and kind, nevertheless I add, in 
order that you may not be deprived of the merit of obedience, 
that I distinctly order you to do it. And lastly, I inform you 
that you must be ready and prepared, and look for a signal 
from me that you are to start, for I shall call you out here 
sooner than you think. 

Once again I address myself to you, Father Antonio Gomez, 
charging you most urgently, that if our fathers on the Comorin 
Mission should bring to you their requests or complaints, or 
those of the Christians whom they have to look after, who are 
sometimes wretchedly oppressed by violence and injustice, from 
the Commandant, you exert yourself strenuously to help him, 
leaving every other business aside for this, in which you should 
get Ruy Gonzalez to help you ; as he is the Patron and father 
to those poor people, and has much influence with the Go 
vernor, he will be both able and willing to collect them power 

And now it remains that I should beg the prayers of all of 
you to strengthen our great weakness in this perilous, doubt 
ful, long, and laborious voyage of ours to Japan. I beseech 
you therefore all alike, as many as live in the College of Goa, 
to have the kindness to implore in your daily prayers and sacri 
fices the special help of God for Father Cosmo Torres, for 
Joam Fernandez, for Paul the Japanese, and his two com- 

164 St. Francis Xavier. 

panions, Manuel the Chinese, and Amador, and lastly for my 

We are told here a great many things about Japan which 
fill us with the greatest hope that our voyage thither will lead 
to results which will abundantly repay the labour. They say 
that you can see there far and wide the fields white with the 
harvest, that many of the people are wearied with their ances 
tral superstitions, that many are desirous to hear about the law 
of Christ, the reputation of which has reached them with very 
great commendations ; they shew us letters also of some mer 
chants dealing in the kingdom of Siam, who testify that some 
Japanese had landed there and had been heard to say that their 
countrymen wished to see some European priests come amongst 
them to teach them the true doctrine concerning God. Such 
are our hopes, and we are eager to fly to the spot where they 
may become true, our hearts full of spirit and of that confidence 
which is a sort of augury and presage, and which finds nothing 
too great to promise to itself in the way of success. But may 
God grant that our own sins may not intercept the rich streams 
of gifts of grace and heavenly succours, without an abundant 
torrent of which all labour for the conversion of the heathen is. 
in vain! Farewell. Your most devoted brother in Christ, 

Malacca, Feast of Corpus Christi, 1 549. FRANCIS. 

It is evident that Francis Xavier was anxious to start as SOOT* 
as possible for Japan. He was already aware of what he after 
wards mentions in his letters, that to reach Japan that year he 
must leave Malacca in June. We may attribute to the shortness 
of the interval which he had at his disposal the inability of the 
Commandant of Malacca to find a Portuguese ship in which he 
might embark. We are told by the historian of the life of St. 
Francis that many Portuguese merchants came forward to offer 
their vessels for this purpose. It was thought that the presence 
of the Apostle on board any ship would secure her safety from 
the great dangers of all kinds by which the navigation to Japan 
was beset. But the ships were not ready for sea : repairs were 
wanting to one, another had not completed her cargo, another 

The Vicar of Malacca. 165 

was not yet manned. For some reason or other, every Chris 
tian ship was at this moment unavailable. Paul of the Holy 
Faith is said to have made a pungent remark on this occasion. 
* All this happened, he said, by a singular providence of God. 
If the Japanese his countrymen had seen on the one hand 
Master Francis preaching the holy law of God, and at the same 
time and place had also seen, on the other, the Christian mer 
chants doing things contrary to the same law, they would have 
formed their judgment of it rather from the deeds of the mer 
chants than from the words of the preacher, and would have 
told Master Francis, how could it be that the Christians looked 
forward to the good things of heaven after death, if they lived 
now as if there were no goods but those of this world ? He 
thanked God, he said, that no European entered Japan along 
with Francis. 

The mention of the Bishop s Vicar in the foregoing letter 
introduces us naturally to what the biographers of Francis Xavier 
tell us of another great triumph of his charity which was gained 
during this stay at Malacca. It has already been said that the 
city was never altogether converted by his preaching, and it 
was to be the scene of his last and most terrible disappoint 
ment. It would appear that one reason at least for the com 
parative stubbornness of a part of the population was to be 
found in that which is the greatest affliction that can befall a 
Christian community the bad example and the negligence of 
the chief of the clergy. The Vicar of Ormuz, to whom Gaspar 
Baertz was instructed to pay so much submission and charit 
able attention, was a man whose life was a scandal to religion. 
Alfonso Martinez, who had been Vicar at Malacca for thirty 
years, was another instance of a lax and negligent ecclesiastic, 
though we are not told whether his life had been positively bad 
in the ordinary sense of the term. He had always been a friend 
to Francis Xavier, who, on his arrival at Malacca this time, 
found him dangerously ill, and what was far worse, in a state 
of despair as to the salvation of his soul. He had lived all 
those years in a state of carelessness, and now that his last hour 
seemed to be approaching, he passed from indifference to melan- 

1 66 S/. Francis Xavier. 

choly, and from melancholy, as we have said, to despair. In 
vain did his friends try to rouse him to confidence in the mercy 
of God : he replied only by howls and groans, declaring that 
for him the time of mercy was past. At last, when he was told 
that Francis had arrived, it seemed as if a ray of hope had 
pierced the gloom of his heart, and he endeavoured to rise from 
his bed and dress himself that he might go to meet his dear 
friend. But he fainted away from weakness on making the 
effort. Francis was soon at his side, exhorting him to confes 
sion in his own loving and forcible manner. But at first he was 
unsuccessful : a fresh access of despair fell on the poor soul 
which had so long neglected its duties, and Francis seemed to 
plead in vain. At last he turned to God in ardent prayer, and 
bound himself by vow to offer a large number of masses, in 
honour of the most holy Trinity, our Blessed Lady, the Angels, 
the Saints, and for the holy Souls of Purgatory. Martinez was 
softened, made his confession with great contrition, received the 
last sacraments, and expired peacefully in the arms of Francis 
Xavier. The Vicar mentioned as assisting at the first mass of 
Alfonso de Castro may probably have been the successor of 
Martinez, as we are not told that the latter held his office down 
to the time of his death. 

The remainder of the letter which has last been inserted is 
remarkable, even among the letters of Francis Xavier, as an 
evidence of the thoughtful and tender anxiety with which his 
heart lingered over the brethren whom he had just left behind 
him in India. He had not long parted from them, and we can 
not suppose that he had not given them, before leaving Goa, 
many of the injunctions, about writing to him both as to the 
external affairs of their mission and the state of their own con 
sciences, which are here repeated. Even the little boys of the 
college are to let him know how they are. He would gladly 
write to each one of his brothers, but one letter must do for all 
Again, all must pray much for the King, and for Pedro de Silva 
the good Commandant of Malacca. Great care is to be taken 
about keeping up the best relations with the Bishop and with 
the members, all and each, of other religious orders in Goa. 

Letter to Joam Beira. 167 

Then his mind runs off to the Queen Isabella of the Moluccas, 
and to Balthasar Veloz, for both of whom he has asked certain 
favours from the King, which the fathers at Goa are to see, if 
possible, secured to them without delay. Then again, he is not 
content with the letters which he hopes to receive from Fathers 
Paul and Antonio Gomez, the Superiors at Goa : he must have 
Father Balthasar Gago epitomize for him all the news which 
arrives from Europe, and all matters in India external to the 
immediate affairs of the Society. On the other hand, Francis 
nays but little in this letter of his own expectations as to Japan, 
and we might suppose that it was written before the arrival of 
the good news as to the embassy from a Japanese prince ask 
ing for instructions in Christianity which came to cheer him 
before he left Malacca; unless indeed, as was likely, some other 
letter was written to Goa at this time, which has not been pre 

Alfonso de Castro and his companions were to sail for the 
Moluccas, but perhaps would leave Malacca after Francis him 
self. Our next letter seems to have been sent to Joam Beira 
at the same time. 

(LXXIII.) To Joani Beira. 

May the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

The Fathers who are now leaving this for your parts will tell 
you with all fulness all about our brethren who are dispersed 
in various places in India, and who are everywhere, by the grace 
of God, labouring usefully for the propagation of the kingdom 
of Christ, as well as about those who are working in Portugal, 
and what fruit results from the labours of all. As I am sure of 
this, I can spare myself the trouble, by no means light, of writ 
ing at great length to you what you will hear much more con 
veniently and leisurely from them, who are fully furnished with 
all the information on these subjects, and will give it you in 
familiar conversation by word of mouth. As for myself, I have 
to tell you that I have now made up my mind and determined 

i68 St. Francis Xavier. 

to sail to Japan, since I have learnt from competent sources 
that the natives there appear to be admirably disposed to re 
ceive the preaching of the doctrine of the Gospel in such a 
way as to give hope of great fruit. 

We go together, six in number, three Europeans and three 
Japanese. These last are very honest men and very good 
Christians. They were baptized at Goa, and learnt, in the Col 
lege of Santa Fe, to read and write in our language. Each of 
them has made the Exercises for a whole month, with very 
great fruit to his soul, and up to this time they have gone on 
adding to this fruit by daily and by no means small advances. 
They are all impelled to return to their country by their great 
longing to communicate to their friends and families the trea 
sure which they have found for themselves, and of leading their 
fellow countrymen away from foolish superstitions and recon 
ciling them to Christ, the only light and salvation of the world. 
It is said that some of the great people in Japan are thinking 
of sending an embassy to the King of Portugal, to ask him to 
send them some priests who may preach to them the law of 
Christ. We all go in very high spirits and confidence, hoping 
that some remarkable fruit will come from our voyage, the al 
mighty power of our Lord God helping in His mercy our own 
weak efforts. I am now pretty well aware how much good can 
be done in these parts ; and if, when I reach those islands at the 
end of the world, I come to think clearly that more return for 
our labours may be justly expected there, I mean to call you 
all to join me, and transplant you to work in places where a 
larger harvest may be reaped. So you must prepare your hearts 
and work up your zeal even now, that nothing may prevent you 
from obeying me without delay, as soon as you receive my 
letters calling you away to Japan. 

Father Alfonso is to go to you, and his station is to be at 
the fortress of Ternate, where he is to preach both to the Por 
tuguese and their slaves and servant-girls, and also to the free 
native Christians. He is also to explain the Christian doctrine 
every day, as I used to do when I was there; and once a week 
he is to explain the articles of the Creed and the Ten Command- 

Letter to Joam Eelra. 169 

ments to the wives of the Portuguese assembled in a separate 
congregation, and to teach them also the way of properly and 
profitably frequenting the sacraments of penance and holy com 
munion. When I called to mind what I saw there when I was 
on the spot, it seemed to me expedient that Father Alfonso 
should stay at least a year at Ternate, and even for a longer 
time, if it seemed useful to you, forming your judgment from 
experience of the present. He is a clever and able person ; and 
after he has fully discharged his ministry for the good of souls, 
I think he will still not lack leisure, industry, and influence 
for the transacting of any business of yours, or of the Christians 
in the islands in which you are stationed at various places for 
the purpose of instructing them, providing you in due time, from 
the mart there, with whatever you may want, and, as often as it 
may be necessary, gaining the favour of the Prince of Ternate, 
or of the Portuguese Commandant or Treasurer, on behalf of 
you or your friends. 

Manuel de Moraes and Francesco Gonzalez are on their 
way to you, to be under your authority at the Moluccas. You 
have great reason to rejoice that these two, as well as Alfonso, 
whom I have already spoken of, are sent to you. They have 
all of them those gifts from which you may well expect great 
assistance. I am looking for letters from you telling me that 
you have been gathering in a rich harvest into the garners of 
the Church where you are. Would that they might tell me that 
the King s son had become a Christian ! I knew, when I left, 
that he was thinking of something of the kind. As to the 
islanders of the Moor, what will they tell me ? Will it be that 
there is a sign of hope that they are about to return to a better 
mind, and make peace with us ? As for your people at the 
Moluccas, I wish to know whether they show any inclination 
or disposition to believe the preaching of the Gospel. Also as 
to the neighbouring countries, if any good news of the same 
kind should reach you concerning them, I beseech you do not 
cheat me of it. How glad I should be to hear from you that a 
door was opened to the Gospel at Macazar; that Tolles or 
Celebes seemed not averse to the Gospel ! Do not fail to 

170 St. Francis Xavier. 

tell me how the Prince of Ternate behaves with regard to the 
Christians ; whether he shows any, and how much, favour to 
the ministers of the Gospel and the whole affairs of religion. 
Tell me everything of this kind fully, so that one may be 
able to judge in what proportion the fruit corresponds to the 
labour spent in that part of the world, and whether it is expe 
dient to send further supplies to increase the number of our 
workers there. Take care to inform our Father Ignatius at 
Rome, and Father Simon Rodriguez at Lisbon, as to how 
many idolaters have become Christians where you are, what 
progress the converts have made, what sort of constancy they 
show under persecution, what are the number of sermons de 
livered and sacraments administered, what profit in souls results 
from the sacred administrations of the priests, and how assi 
duous and strenuous they are in their ministrations. And also 
any other tidings of the same sort, which may be published in 
Europe and rouse the minds of those who hear them to give 
praise to God. 

But in writings of the kind I speak of two things must be 
carefully observed: first, to make a selection of what you insert, 
leaving out whatever may give offence by casting reflections 
upon any one, and whatever it may cause unpleasantness to 
mention, and also to be prudent in adapting your whole style 
and tone to the gravity becoming an ecclesiastic ; so that your 
accounts may be such as may be passed from hand to hand, 
made public, and communicated to externs as well as to ours, as 
soon as they arrive in Europe. For you must know and con 
sider that such descriptions of what is being done in such re 
mote parts of the world are much sought for and eagerly read 
throughout Spain, Italy, and elsewhere. So that it is very 
proper that we should take very peculiar care and caution as to- 
what we write to be sent thither, in order that our letters, which 
will certainly fall into the hands not only of friends but also of 
persons not very favourable to us, sometimes even of those that 
have some jealousy or hostility to us, may, if it is possible, give 
satisfaction to all, and stir up all to give thanks to, and con 
gratulate with, God and the Holy Church, and, at all events,. 

Letter to Joam Beira. 171 

never afford any legitimate cause to any one of offence or sinis 
ter interpretation. I would also have you write circular letters 
to the same purpose to all our brethren throughout India, to 
give them the good news of the happy success of what you are 
doing for the glory of God. 

When you have occasion to ask anything of the Lord Go 
vernor or his lordship the Bishop, write privately to Antonio 
Gomez, and ask him to manage the business for you by a pri 
vate interview. Ask him also for what you may want for the 
support and clothing of our fathers and brothers. I have told 
him to be at your service for things of that kind, and to take 
care that all the supplies which you let him know that you 
are in need of be duly forwarded to you by the ship which is 
usually sent every year from Goa to Ternate. Lastly, you must 
take care to keep me informed, by letters by no means perfunc 
tory, but going fully into detail, as to all that may happen, good 
or bad, concerning your own labours, the issue of the preaching 
of the Gospel, domestic discipline, and the progress in virtue of 
all of ours ; all which letters, as well as those which I have al 
ready enjoined upon you, you must duly seal up and send to 
Father F. Perez at Malacca, to whom I have given in charge 
to avail himself diligently of the many opportunities which that 
crowded mart affords of ships sailing in every direction, so that 
the letters may be faithfully forwarded, and the correspondence 
between us, which is so necessary for the government of the 
Society, may be carried on. 

If any of our Society should wilfully fall into a fault for 
which he ought to be expelled from it (and, as you know, an 
obstinate refusal to obey would be among the chief of such 
faults), then, according to the arrangements which I have made 
with his lordship the Bishop, and which I communicated to 
you last year, you will order such a one in virtue of holy obedi 
ence and under pain of excommunication to present himself as 
soon as possible to his lordship, by whose authority he must 
hereafter be guided, because the Society will no longer ac 
knowledge him as her child. And what I have thus ordered 
you, r you must clearly let each one of those whom you have 

172 St. Francis Xavier. 

with you know so to have been enjoined upon you, that every 
one may understand at what peril he may commit such a fault. 
And let no one flatter himself that, however much he may fail 
in his resolution to gain perfection, and however slow and ob 
stinate he may be, that he may nevertheless consider it certain 
that he will remain and persevere in the Society. 

May God bring us together in His holy glory ! for as for 
this life, our pilgrimage lies in such different directions that it 
does not seem very likely that we shall at any time meet. 

Malacca, June 20, 1549. 

P.S. A fear occurs to my mind, when I think of the occu 
pations you have where you are, whether you have leisure 
enough to write the letters which I have spoken of to our 
Father Master Ignatius, Master Simon, to all our brethren in 
India, as well as about your own affairs to Goa. So I suggest 
to you the means of making the work shorter, which I now 
state. You will have, as I have said, our good Alfonso at 
Ternate. I think that you should order to be sent to him 
from all the stations of ours throughout the Moluccas ac 
counts, however hastily made up, as long as they are true and 
exact, of all that is done, stating what kind of ministerial func 
tions our priests are discharging, with how much exertion, and 
what fruit of souls ; whether they are exposed to any persecu 
tions, of what sort and from whom, how much constancy they 
show in resisting them, and what victories and successes they 
gain by the aid of God. They should state also what are the 
dispositions and conditions of mind among the heathen in 
those parts, and what hope there is for the future from them. 
And as Alfonso is not only prudent, but also fluent, with a 
good style and hand, he, out of the accounts sent to him, will 
make up letters in the name of you all such as it is well to send 
to Europe and India. Moreover, he will manage any business 
you may have, partly with the Commandant at Ternate, partly 
by means of Antonio Gomez at Goa. He will leave to you 
one only concern of which you cannot at all put off the bur- 

Last Letters to the West. 173- 

then on to the shoulders of another, the business, namely, of 
writing to me, as I by all means desire, and as it is necessary 
that you should write, as to the state, the spiritual progress, 
the talents, the virtues, or the imperfections of each one of ours 
who are fighting out there under your leadership. 

It is said here that you have been killed in the Isles of the 
Moor ; but these rumours can be traced to no authority. We 
do not mean to give ear to such evil reports; and we hope, on 
the other hand, that by the good favour of God our Lord you 
will live many years yet to work in His service. If, however, 
contrary to what we believe and desire, then I give orders that 
all of our Society who are at present in the Moluccas, or shall 
hereafter arrive there, are to obey Father Alfonso. As to 
this matter, I here subjoin an order, which is to be duly pro 
mulgated, as follows : Father Ribera and Niccolo Nunez, if 
Father Beira should die, are to obey Father Alfonso. Manuel 
de Moraez and Francesco Gonzalez, who are in the Moluccas, 
I order you in virtue of holy obedience, that if Joam Beira 
should have happened to die, you acknowledge Alfonso de 
Castro as Superior, and obey him. But if, as I think most 
probable, and as I hope is the case, Joam Beira is still alive, I 
desire and command both of you to obey him exactly as your 

lawful Superior. ^ 


The date of these last letters shows that the term of the: 
short stay made by Francis and his companions in Malacca 
was nearly expired when he wrote them. The Feast of Cor 
pus Christi fell that year on the 2oth of June, and Francis was 
to sail on the 24th. Yet the number of letters which remain 
to us, dated before his departure though it is probable that 
some which he wrote at the time have not been preserved 
shows us how much he must have been occupied with his cor 
respondence during the last half week. We may, however, 
well suppose, as has been already said, that he began his letters 
long before he finished and dated them. The next two letters 
in the collection are addressed, the one to the Society at Rome, 
the other to the Society at Coimbra. They are almost abso- 

174 St. Francis Xavier. 

lutely identical in their contents, and it seems at first sight 
more probable that Francis only wrote one, which was copied 
at Coimbra in a somewhat shorter form, and thus forwarded 
in copy to Rome, than that he wrote both the letters, as they 
remain to us, in full. But, on the other hand, it was undoubt 
edly his custom to write the same letters twice or three times 
over, and we cannot think that the collectors would give us the 
letters twice over unless two separate copies had been made by 
Francis himself. We shall give the copy which seems to have 
been made last of the two, as it is somewhat fuller than the 

We find mention in this letter of the desire of one of the 
princes of Japan to become a Christian, and of his sending an 
envoy to the Governor of the Indies to obtain teachers. The 
story about the Portuguese merchants who were put into an old 
haunted house by the Japanese is highly characteristic both of 
the times and of the country, which has retained even down to 
our time that jealousy of foreigners which shows itself in ex 
cluding them as far as possible from unrestrained intercourse 
with the population and from residence amongst them. We 
may defer any remarks on the remainder of the letter until 
after its insertion. 

(LXXIV.) To the Fathers and Brothers of the College 
of Coimbra. 

May the grace and love of Christ our Lord always help 
and favour us ! Amen. 

I wrote to you at full length last January, and besides this, 
I feel confident that all our brethren who are scattered about 
in these parts, each one from his own station, has done the 
same, according to my orders to them, telling you what rich 
and happy fruit of souls this vineyard of the Indies produces, 
and how prosperously the Christian religion increases in growth, 
not only in the royal garrisons, but also in the other towns which 
belong to the heathen. 

The Japanese Converts. 175 

I came hither from India last April, in order to embark 
at this port of Malacca for Japan. I have two of our Society 
with me one a priest, the other a lay brother and also three 
Japanese converts whom I have first had well instructed in 
fundamental knowledge of the mysteries of our Lord Christ 
and of the Catholic Faith, and then baptized at Goa. They 
were instructed in the elements of the Christian doctrine in our 
College of Santa Fe, where they also learned to read and write 
in our language. They also made the Spiritual Exercises for a 
month with very great attention and extreme desire to profit 
from them. Nor was God wanting on His part to meet this 
goodwill of theirs which He had Himself prepared, for He gave 
them very deep feelings as to the immense benefits which they 
had received from the great liberality of Him their Creator, 
which they then gratefully thought over for the first time in 
their lives, blaming themselves for and weeping over their for 
mer blindness as to acknowledging the same. This made them 
feel such burning affections of the love of God in return, of de 
votion, and other like virtues, that all of us who used to live 
with them at that time would have thought ourselves very well 
off indeed if we had been affected in like manner. 1 

They are now using with much care the proficiency which 
they have gained of reading and writing after our manner, in 
acquainting themselves with writings, generally those which 
explain the mysteries of our Lord, and in reciting at a certain 
hour every day the Psalms and other prayers of the Church. I 
asked them once, when they were doing this, what part of such 
volumes they felt the greatest delight in reading aloud, and 
they answered me that it was the history of the sufferings and 

1 This sentence is a little varied in the copy of the letter addressed to 
Rome : 

After duly receiving baptism, they exercised themselves with great 
diligence and equal frait in meditation on the truths relating to man and 
-to God. But by the singular goodness of God they were so strongly roused 
to the knowledge of His heavenly bounties towards them, and they were 
loaded with divine grace to such a degree, that we may well wish that all 
of you might share in the great blessings which God, so to say, heaped 
upon them with a full hand. 

176 St. Francis Xavier. 

death of Christ. 2 What confirms what they said is, that we 
have observed them give all signs of tender compassion at any 
chance mention or remembrance of the pains and death of 
the Lord Jesus ; and not only this, but turn to the thought of 
themselves, go back to it from time to time, and that they are 
invariably very deeply moved at that consideration. All the 
time that they were making that month of retreat at Goa, we 
used to see that they were visited by wonderful joy and hea 
venly sweetness, and often melted into calm and happy tears. 

Before they were put under the training of the Spiritual 
Exercises, we had kept them for several months at learning by 
heart the articles of the Christian faith and the mysteries of the 
life of Christ, and in making their minds familiar with the cause 
of the Incarnation of the Son of God in the womb of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, and the whole plan of the redemption of 
mankind. I have often asked them, which of all the sacra 
ments of the Christian law seemed to them of most salutary 
use ? and they always answered that, on account of their use 
fulness and universality of application, which extended to every 
kind and circumstance of condition and place, they gave the 
first rank of all principally to two sacraments, those of holy 
Penance and of holy Communion. They used to add, that all 
the doctrines of the Christian religion appeared to them to hold 
together so aptly among themselves, that they thought that no 
one of sound judgment could help approving of them if ever he 
came to know them. I have heard one of these men, who is 
called Paul of the Holy Faith, sighing deeply and exclaiming, 
O unhappy people of Japan, who adore the creatures which 
God has made in order that they may be your servants ! I said 
to him, Paul, why do you talk so ? He answered, I pity my 
poor fellow countrymen, who give divine honour to the sun 
and moon, whereas those stars are servants to those who ac 
knowledge the Lord Jesus, and by His command they give 

The Roman letter goes on as follows : 

They therefore make this their chief reading and meditation. As long 
as they were making the exercises they received so much heavenly joy 
from them, and so many pious tears, that the effect remained for many 

The Portuguese in Japan. 177 

light to men by day and by night, that they may use that light 
to understand the glory of Jesus Christ the Son of God. 

But to return to our voyage. We arrived at this city of Ma 
lacca, three of the Society with three Japanese, on the 3ist of 
May of the year 1549. We were met as soon as we landed by 
consistent statements of many persons at once, who vied one 
with another in telling us wonderful news as to the very excel 
lent hope that might be entertained of the great likelihood of 
success for the preaching of the Gospel in Japan. Their au 
thority consisted in some letters which they showed us, lately 
received from some Portuguese merchants their friends who 
were trading in that country. In one of these letters it was 
stated that a certain Prince in these islands of Japan, a man of 
great wealth and power, wished to become a Christian, and had 
already sent an ambassador to the Governor of India to ask in 
his name that some teachers of the Christian religion might be 
sent to Japan, by whom he might be instructed in the faith. 

There were some other letters directed to me personally, 
which informed me that some Portuguese merchants on landing 
at a certain city in Japan, and seeking for a place of abode 
where they might lodge, had had assigned to them by the petty 
Prince of the district some buildings which had been left with 
out inhabitants, because experience had proved that they were 
much infested by ghosts. The Portuguese entered them without 
knowing anything of this inconvenience, which the Japanese 
very cunningly said nothing about. For some nights they were 
continually surprised to find that when they lay down to rest 
the clothes and coverings of their beds were pulled off, without 
their being able to see any one. At last a servant of their party 
was frightened out of his wits in the dead of the night at the 
appearance of a terrible spectre, and cried out so loud in be 
trayal of his fright that he woke them all up. They leapt up 
from their beds, seized their weapons, and ran to the poor fellow 
who was shouting, as if they were going to repel a night attack 
made by thieves. But they found the door fastened and the 
servant safe and alone. They asked him why he had made such 
a noise, and he could give no account of it, except that he had 


178 -S/. Francis Xavier. 

seen a most terrible appearance, which, however, had vanished 
when he had made the sign of the Cross. After this the same 
servant set up a great many figures of the Cross in various 
places about the building and at the doors of the rooms. Mean 
while, the neighbours, who knew all about it, came to ask how 
the strangers found themselves in the haunted house, and they 
were full of wonder at their remaining there so long without 
hurt. And as it chanced that they had heard the servant shout 
out in the night and the noise made by the-others in running 
to his assistance with their weapons, they asked the next day, 
what had been the reason of their panic that night? The Portu 
guese then stated what had happened to them, and the Japanese 
confessed that the building had fora long time been considered 
as infested by a certain evil spirit. As that kind of plague is- 
common in those parts, they asked the Portuguese, if they had 
any remedy at hand which would cure it, to be so kind as to 
say so and communicate it to them. The Portuguese answered 
that nothing was more efficacious for the driving away of mali 
cious spirits than the sign of the Cross. Soon what had hap 
pened and what they had said got to be spread abroad widely. 
and crosses made of paper, or wood, or any such substance, 
were to be seen at the doors of nearly all the houses in the 
town ; the natives, who were often wont to suffer great molesta 
tion from the visits of hellish ghosts, making use with great 
eagerness of the defence which had been made known to them 
against such assaults. 

The same letter, addressed to me, also added, that the Japan 
ese nation appeared to be extremely well disposed to receive 
the preaching of the Gospel. It is very circumspect and pru 
dent, judging of things by motives of reason, and also wonder 
fully curious to learn anything new that is brought to it. For 
this reason I for my part have conceived a great hope, relying 
on the assistance of God, that very considerable fruit will result 
among some of the Japanese, perhaps in all of them, and that 
a great number of those wandering souls will join themselves 
to the fold of the holy Church, unless indeed our own sins 
hinder our Lord God from vouchsafing to use us as the instru- 

The King of Japan. 179 

ments of His glory. Still, I did not all at once act upon these 
fair auspices which seemed to invite me to the expedition. 
Since then, I have long and carefully deliberated in my own 
mind, looking out and searching by all possible indications for 
some sign of the will of God in this matter. 

However, when once I had clearly recognised in myself the 
intimation and conviction that it was altogether the desire of 
God, and that it was a matter which His service required, that 
I should go to Japan, I gave myself up to the plan so entirely 
and irrevocably, that it seemed to me that if I were now to de 
sist from what I had begun, I should be more wicked and more 
detestable than the very idolaters of Japan. I am confirmed in 
my purpose because I see that the enemy of the human race is 
setting a great many devices in motion in order to make me 
give up the thought of it, and this makes it by no means obscure 
that he dreads no small defeat and destruction to his own in 
terests if it is carried out. He may make whatever disturbance 
and opposition he will, and we shall go on all the same in per 
fect carelessness as to the empty bugbears he may raise. We 
have got ready all that is wanting for the celebration of the 
Holy and Unbloody Sacrifice, with which we intend to offer the 
Sacred Host, and so take possession of those countries and na 
tions in the name of Christ our King. What may be the suc 
cess attending our first beginnings, you will fully learn next year, 
if God wills, by letters which you will then receive from me. 

I have already made up my mind, as soon as ever I dis 
embark, to go to the King of all Japan himself, wherever he 
may be, and lay before him the message which I have for him 
from the Supreme Emperor of all nations, our Lord Jesus Christ. 
I am told that the King has always with him a large band of 
men of letters, who are full of confidence in their own genius, 
learning, and eloquence. I do not fear much, relying on God, 
from the opposition of all their learning ; for what good learn 
ing can people have who do not know Jesus Christ ? 3 And as 

3 The letter to Rome continues thus : 

But he who looks to nothing else but the grace of God, the preaching 
of the Gospel, the salvation of souls, what shall he refuse, what shall he 

180 St. Francis Xa-vier. 

we care for and seek for nothing else but the glory of God and 
the manifestation of Jesus Christ unto the salvation of souls, what 
kind of loss or danger can there be of which we ought to be 
so very much afraid ? It is true that we are defenceless and un 
armed, yet it is easy for God both to shield us from all harm in 
the midst of the hostile armies not only of the large nation we are 
going to, but also of the devils who are so much irritated against 
us, and also to help us to be conquerors. And if anything else 
please Him, we do not count it bitter, whatever it may be that 
is according to His will. In such case as this, it is victory even 
to fall, provided that the body alone fall, and the mind remain 
unconquered. 4 There is only one kind of wound at all that is 
to be feared, and that is when the mind is wounded by giving 
consent to sin. But as God our Lord is wont to give to all 
sufficient grace to serve Him and to abstain from sin, we trust 
in the divine mercy that this grace will by no means be denied 
to us. All that is good or bad in us consists in our using well 
or using ill the grace of God, and we rest with very great con 
fidence, first on the merits of our holy Mother the Church, the 
Spouse of Jesus Christ our Lord, and then specially on the 
merits of all who belong to the Society of Jesus, and of all the 
faithful of both sexes who are serving God under their advice 
or direction; so that, with all these embracing us under their 
patronage and assisting us by their prayers, we hope to be able 
to co-operate faithfully with and make good use of the grace 
which God our Lord will offer us in due time. 

It is a great comfort to us to know that God, who judges 
the inmost feelings of the human heart, sees clearly with what 
wish, with what aim, with what prayer, and in search of what it 
is that we are moved to undertake this voyage to Japan. Our 

fear? For if \ve shall find ourselves not only in the land of barbarians, but 
even in the realm of devils, yet no barbarism, no rage of demons will be 
able to hurt us, except by the permission and concession of Almighty God. 

4 Letter to Rome : 

One thing alone we fear, least we offend God Himself; and if we 
avoid offending Him, we promise ourselves certain victory over our ene 
mies, He favouring us. 

Motives of Confidence. 181 

own consciences tell us that in that expedition we seek and 
desire nothing else at all, save only that we may lead the souls 
of men, created in the image of God, to the knowledge of their 
Creator, that the Supreme Author of all things may be praised 
as He deserves by the creatures whom He has made in His 
own likeness, and the frontiers of the empire of our holy Mo 
ther Church, the Spouse of Christ, may be advanced and her 
realm enlarged. And so we go glowing with vigorous confid 
ence, and we venture to presume and reckon on as a thing cer 
tain and as if our hope had received a pledge of its fulfilment, 
that this voyage of ours to Japan will unfailingly issue in happy 
and joyful success. There are two things which support me 
against all the threats and preparations of the devil, who is al 
ready threatening hostilities and letting us know clearly enough 
that he means war to the knife, in order to frighten us from 
our course. The first of these is, as I have just said, the con 
viction that God knows with perfect clearness the rectitude of 
my intentions in undertaking the voyage. The second is, the 
most certain knowledge of the entire and absolute dominion of 
the will of God over all created things, so that no one of them 
can do anything at all except by the permission of God. And 
that this law binds the devils themselves, and that, however 
much they may wish to hurt any one, they cannot do so unless 
they first obtain leave from God, is clearly seen in the history 
of Job. The sacred Scripture bears witness, that his most sav 
age enemy Satan could not in the slightest degree harm that 
holy man without the assent and pleasure of God. 

I say all this because it is a matter of the greatest certainty 
that the passage from Malacca to Japan which we have made 
up our minds to attempt is beset with very urgent and imminent 
danger of death of a dreadful kind. There will be all the ex 
treme violence of most furious storms, there will be danger that 
cannot be detected beforehand from hidden rocks and quick 
sands, there will also be the risk of fierce attacks from the 
pirates who infest those seas. The fear of these perils is by no 
means a vain fear, as is proved by the number of examples 
increasing with the number of those who make the venture, in 

1 82 St. Francis Xavier. 

which persons who have attempted this voyage have been ship 
wrecked or reduced to slavery. It is commonly said here that 
it is a matter of experience, and which cannot by any human 
means be avoided, that out of all the ships which sail from this 
or any other neighbouring port for Japan, one in every three is 
lost by one of the three causes of destruction which I have 
mentioned storms, rocks or shoals, and pirates. 

I have often, in thinking of these things, had the fear come 
into my mind, lest most of the learned men of our Society, 
when they are sent out here to preach the Gospel, and come to 
experience for themselves the severe labours that are requisite, 
and the very great risk that there is to body and life, which, 
from the very condition of the enterprise we have in hand and 
the state of affairs as they are here, we are obliged to expose to 
continual danger, might have a kind of scruple about it, as if we 
were committing the fault of rashness, and as if all this were in 
some way to tempt God, which the sacred Scriptures speak of 
so severely. But when I have thought over the whole matter 
at full leisure, I did not find it difficult to get rid of the ob 
jection, and to lay aside all fear. For I am confident that the 
fatherly Providence of God over our Society will in His own 
sweet way bring about, that all those noble gifts of learning and 
eloquence which the men I speak of have brought to our So 
ciety, may be so tempered by our training and the holy discipline 
of religious life, as to be always under the control of the Holy 
Spirit, Who will animate these men as He does the other mem 
bers of the Society. 5 Unless this were to happen, I for my part 
should have great fears for them, nor should I be able to feel at 
rest, having before my mind continually what I remember to have 
heard our blessed Father Ignatius say, that the true children 
of the Society of Jesus ought to make great exertions in order 
to conquer themselves, and to seek out means of driving away 
from their minds those terrors of things that appear formidable, 

s The letter to Rome has it thus : 

But when I have recollected myself, I cease to fear, since I am confi 
dent that the spirit of the Lord which dwells in the learning and learned 
men of our Society would moderate all this, otherwise learning would 
bring much more hurt than advantage. 

Confidence in Danger. 183 

which hinder men from putting their full hope and entire con 
fidence in God. For though a lively hope and faith of that 
sort be a gratuitous gift of God, which He bestows on those on 
whom it pleases Him to bestow it, nevertheless for the most 
part He gives it to those who keep a stern hold over them 
selves, and who leave nothing undone by means of which they 
may obtain the full subjugation of all their feelings, out of 
their love for God, to considerations of His divine service and 

There is, believe me, a wide difference between those who 
trust in God while they are nevertheless furnished with all 
things which are necessary for the support and convenience of 
life, and those who do the same in extreme destitution and 
entire want of all the supports of life, into which state they have 
thrown themselves of their own accord for the sake of imitating 
Christ. And it follows from this that there is also a great dif 
ference between those who place their trust and hope and con 
fidence in God without being in danger of death, and those 
who trust in God and hope in Him, and at the same time of their 
own accord and free will expose themselves, in order to give 
Him pleasure, to evident danger of death, while they have it in 
their own full power and choice either to avoid such or to en 
counter them. And to my mind it seems that a man who in 
this way has made his choice to live in continual danger of 
death, out of the mere desire to serve God, and casting aside 
all other motives or aims, will very soon feel a great weariness 
of this present life and a great desire for death, that he may 
thereby be graciously removed unto a better life, and may reign 
with God in heaven ; since this life, as we call it, is rather one 
long death and a state of exile from that glory, for the enjoy 
ment of which we are intended by our Creator. 

Our good brothers and companions, the Japanese who are 
going with us to Japan, tell us that the ministers of religion 
there will be scandalized if they see us eat flesh or fish. We go 
therefore with our minds determined whatever may be the 
severity of the diet which it may be necessary for us to use, to 
take away all occasion of such offence. Those who come from 

184 St. Francis Xavier. 

Japan tell us that there is in that country a great multitude of 
men of that sort, who lead what looks like a kind of religious 
life, and practise severe asceticism. They say that these men 
have very great authority with the people, so that high and low 
alike all hang upon their nod, and are ready to do any service 
at their command. I tell you this that in your prudence you 
may form an idea what great and fierce battles are ready for us 
in Japan, and that in your charity you may strive to obtain for 
us from Him Who is the Lord of all of us, by means of your 
daily sacrifices and prayers, the aid that is necessary in order 
to conquer such bitter foes. And I hope that in this way we 
shall be kept up by the merits and prayers of all the sons of 
the holy Society of Jesus. 

They say that we shall set sail either on the feast of St. John 
Baptist of this year 1549, or on the night before. We have set 
tled to sail straight for Japan, and for a distance of about two 
hundred leagues to run along the coast of the celebrated kingdom 
of China, never disembarking or approaching the shore, until 
we reach Japan. The sailors say that this may be on about the 
tenth or fifteenth of the following month. 6 And when this hap 
pens, by God s favour, you must expect long and full letters 
from me, in which I shall inform you of the position and cha 
racter of the country, the nature of the people who inhabit it, 
their disposition, manners, laws, superstitions, errors, studies, 
universities, and learning of the exercises which are practised 
in acquiring it, and the method by which it is taught. 

Our good Paul gave me great pleasure once, telling me 
about a certain monastery in his country, where there are a 
number of members of the community who devote themselves 
to literature. He said that there was one who was their supe 
rior, a certain old man who appeared to excel all the rest in 
wisdom, and who from time to time makes an address to all the 
community assembled together. Then he bade each one of them 
by himself meditate for the space of an hour on some pre 
scribed subject, such as this or another like it what the soul 
might seem likely to say to the body at the last moment of their 
8 i. e. (as in the letter to Rome) the middle of August. 

Sermons of the Bonzes. 185 

separation ? 7 what it will think, when it has been set free from 
its connection with matter, and finds itself in the severe pains 
of hell, or of the fire of Purgatory under the earth ? for even 
these men seem to have got hold of some kind of knowledge 
of these things. When the hour has been spent in considera 
tion on this subject, the teacher I speak of is wont to question 
his disciples one by one, as to what each one has found out in 
his meditation, and to praise them more or less, according to 
the merit of what they produce, or even, if any one brings up 
something which is quite unworthy of notice, he gives him a 
scolding. He told me also that these cenobites are in the habit 
of preaching to the people about once a fortnight, that they 
have a large audience of men and women, and are listened to 
with much attention and emotion, that often a good part of the 
audience, especially the women, are moved to tears, particu 
larly when, as is often done, the orator displays a painted re 
presentation of the torments of hell. So Paul told me, speaking 
of what he had seen. 

I asked him, whether he remembered any sentence which 
he had carried away from those sermons ? He answered that 
one of these preachers whom he was listening to had once said 
that a wicked man or a bad woman was worse than the devil, 
because what the devil could not do by himself, he did by the 
means of bad men and women, as is seen in thefts, in false wit 
ness, 8 and in other crimes, which are brought about at the per 
suasion of the devil, and by the actions of bad men following 
that persuasion. All who tell us what they have seen of the Ja 
panese agree in one thing, that they are a nation with an exceed 
ing eagerness for knowledge. I shall tell you at full length what 
my own practice and experience among them may teach me. 
May God our Lord through His infinite mercy unite us in His 

7 This sentence is rather differently given in the letter to Rome : 

As for example, when death at the last breath stops the voice, if the 
power of speaking were then given to the soul departing from the body, in 
what words would it address its body at that moment of separation ? Also 
if there were to be any one who had been recalled from hell to life, what 
would he seem likely to say to others ? 

8 The Roman letter has perjury. 

1 86 St. Francis Xavier. 

glory ! for in this life I do not well know when or how we can 
hope to see one another. However, obedience could bring 
even that about, for obedience finds it easy, whenever it pleases, 
to arrange things which appear in themselves to be most difficult. 

The useless servant of all my brethren of the Society oi 
the Name of Jesus, 

Malacca, June 22, 1549. FRANCIS. 

It cannot surprise us if we find in the account given by 
Francis Xavier of the institutions of Japan features which are 
not prominent in the Japan of the present day, or at least in the 
very partial descriptions which have come to us, chiefly from 
the pens of diplomatists and political representatives of Euro 
pean powers, who have seen almost nothing of the country, 
except the modern capital, Yeddo. This remark applies 
more particularly to some passages in the letters which will be 
given in the next chapter, with regard to the universities or 
academies of Japan, and the communities of religious per 
sons of both sexes, the names of which, it is only natural to sup 
pose, may have become altogether transformed in the successive 
stages through which they have reached us since they were 
taken down from the lips of Anger or, as he was probably 
called in Japan, Han-Siro by Francis or his companions. The 
passages about the dangers of the voyage, the sources of his 
own confidence, and his consciousness of his own purity of in 
tention, are probably the simple outpourings to his distant but 
much-loved friends, so few of whom, comparatively, he had 
ever seen in the flesh, of the thoughts and feelings of which his 
mind was full ; but they were not without their usefulness to 
those to whom they were addressed, especially at Coimbra, to 
which he had come to look as the nursery of the future mis- 
sioners of India and Japan. The same may be said of the 
doubt which Francis speaks of, more fully in the letter sent to 
Coimbra, than in the copy of the same which was addressed to 
Rome, as to the view which learned theologians might take of 
the peril to which the missioners exposed their Jives on such 
voyages as that which he was now about to undertake. He was- 

Last Letters. 187 

perhaps thinking that he might have to call on some of those 
who had already arrived in India, or were on their way thither, 
to follow him to Japan, and he may well have wished that they 
should begin at once to practise that perpetual abnegation and 
self-conquest which alone could fit them to brave the dangers, 
both physical and moral, which awaited them in the enterprise. 
As to the concluding paragraphs of the letter, in which Paul of 
the Holy Faith is quoted as to the interior practices of the mon 
asteries of bonzes, and as to the preaching to the people of 
some of the cenobites, there is nothing in these statements in 
consistent with what is witnessed to by travellers both of earlier 
and later dates. Preaching was the great means for propagat 
ing his religion employed by Sakya-mouni. The cenobite sys 
tems of Buddhism, as well as the other religions existing by its 
side in Japan, have probably decreased in internal strength 
and vigour, as well as in external influence, since the time when 
Han-Siro took refuge in a monastery of bonzes, after committing 
a homicide; but even in the present day the practices of which 
he gave report to Francis Xavier are not unknown. 

We have already said that the letter on which we are now 
commenting was written twice over, and addressed to the Society 
at Rome, as well as to the College at Coimbra. These letters, 
however, by no means exhausted the activity of Francis Xavier 
during this . short stay at Malacca, busy as he must have been 
about the arrangements for his voyage, and occupied as he 
could never fail to be, in a city where he was so well known, with 
works of charity and religious zeal. The next letter in our series 
is dated the same day with the foregoing. It seems at first 
sight to be a simple expression of the hearty admiration and 
joy of the writer at the labours and success of Francesco Perez 
and his associate; but we find as we proceed that Francis is to 
impose a command on Gomez and Paul of Camerino to send 
fresh labourers to the mission at Malacca, and that his com 
mendation of Perez, the missioner already there, is intended 
to introduce the order almost as if it were a petition. There 
is a remarkable buoyancy and glow of hearty joy through all 
his writings at this time. 

a 88 6V. Francis Xavier. 

(LXXV.) To Father Paul of Gamer ino and Father 
Antonio Gomez, at Goa. 

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be al 
ways in our souls ! Amen. 

As soon as I landed here I was struck with greater wonder 
than I can easily find words to express, at seeing with my own 
eyes the immense harvest which in this city of Malacca, as in 
some large field of rich corn, is gathered into the barn of Christ 
by the labour and industry of the single evangelical workman 
Father Francesco Perez. Every Sunday and feastdayhe preaches 
in the morning to the Portuguese in the largest church in the 
city. In the afternoon in the same place he diligently ex 
pounds thq articles of the holy Creed to the less instructed 
free men or to the slaves of both sexes. Once in the week in 
the church of our Lady the Mother of God he preaches to a 
large congregation of the wives both of the Portuguese and of 
the native Christians a sermon adapted to their capacity and 
condition. And besides all this, every single day he teaches 
and explains in the most laborious manner the elements of the 
Christian doctrine to a very large crowd of boys in the church 
of the Confraternity of Mercy. Besides these things, which 
might certainly be enough abundantly to occupy a single man, 
it would not be easy to count the number of penitents whose 
confessions he alone hears. 

Here then is a worker in the Lord s vineyard who is cer 
tainly no sluggard or idler. We see him exerting himself so 
unweariedly and so continuously that he has to cheat himself of 
the time necessary for eating and sleeping. I certainly hope 
that he will never hear from our Lord that reproach in the holy 
parable : Why stand ye here all the day idle ? for, in truth, no 
one can ever find him at any hour either of the day or night 
when he is not intent on the work of extricating souls from the 
snare of sin, and making them advance in the service of God 
our Lord, Who made them. When he preaches there is such a 
concourse that the largest churches will not hold the congrega- 

Francesco Perez. 

tion. In familiar intercourse he is wonderfully courteous and 
affable, so as to attract at once all whom he comes across, and 
he is singularly popular with all, high and low alike. He is 
the beloved favourite of the Commandant and also of all the 
inhabitants, and is commonly honoured with the reputation of 
a truly apostolical man, very dear to God on account of his 
insatiable desire to gain souls to Him. 

I confess to you, my brothers, that when I saw all this I was 
ashamed of myself, when I beheld with my own eyes how great 
a store of rich spoils was being continually added, by the help 
of God, to the treasuries of the Church by this one man of weak 
constitution and continual ill health. The consciousness of my 
own sluggishness smote me in my inmost heart with a feeling 
of shame and confusion. Just consider the multitude of men 
who are continually being roused to the serious amendment of 
their lives by the private or public discourses of Francesco 
Perez is so great, that they would keep at least six priests well 
practised at hearing confessions well occupied all day long, with 
nothing else to do. And yet this same man, in addition to all 
these occupations, discharges fully and well all the duties of 
domestic chaplain, as it is called, in the Confraternity of Mercy, 
and you know how constant and manifold those duties are- 
What can I say to this, except confess once more, that I and 
those like me ought to be covered with shame, that we who are 
in health and strength do but little, while the weak and the in 
valids are enriching themselves with the spoil of so many souls 
snatched from the jaws of hell? 

Then there is Rocco Oliveira, the companion of Father 
Perez, who also works as strenuously and as usefully as the 
Father. He is master of a numerous school of boys. Some ot 
them he teaches to read and write our language, to others he 
teaches Latin grammar. He has been so long at this that many 
of them have now finished their schooling, and have gone home 
again, having got through the whole course of which they are 
capable, and at home they show by the simplicity of their 
manners and the good examples they give in every respect, to 
the great joy and thankfulness of their parents, how great the 

i go St. Francis Xavier. 

difference is between boys well taught and boys untaught. They 
read with ease, and understand as far as is necessary the com 
mon summaries of the Christian doctrine; they recite the 
prayers of the Church from book, and this so modestly that all 
who see them are provoked thereby to give praises and thanks 
to God, for they carry themselves with as much recollection and 
composure of countenance as the novices of religious orders at 
home. No one can ever hear an oath or an improper word 
from them, not even of the lightest kind, such as is more easily 
pardoned. Among other edifying things of this kind which our 
good Rocco has established, is one which is very highly ap 
proved of he often brings out his schoolboys in a long pro 
cession, answering one to another by twos and twos, with their 
eyes fixed on the ground, their walk grave and slow, singing 
the litanies, or other sacred chants of the same kind. These 
processions, which are very pleasant sights, are in great demand- 
among the people, especially for the purpose of adding dignity 
to funerals, whenever one of the Christians here happens to die. 
The elder lads take the bier of the deceased man on their 
shoulders, and carry it to the place of burial. There is not one 
of them who does not know perfectly the Our Father, the Hail 
Mary, and the Creed, as well as some other Christian forms of 
prayer, and who cannot repeat them at any moment without 
mistake. They all know how to serve mass reverently, and all 
hear it every day. They meet at school early in the morning, 
and after midday, after hearing the explanation of the Christian 
doctrine which Perez repeats every day, they go to school again, 
when Oliveira teaches them. After they have heard and repeated 
their lessons, and gone through the rest of their school work, 
they kneel down, and in a loud voice recite, all together, their 
holy prayers. When I see all this my mind is filled with in 
comparable consolation. Pray God, I beseech you, to preserve 
the good that has already been gained, to promote what has 
been begun, to crown with increase these first fruits, to the 
praise and glory of His holy Name, and to the more perfect 
service of His own divine Majesty. 

Alfonso is going to the Moluccas, where he alone will have 

Aid for Malacca. 191 

to do what the two whom I have been speaking of, Perez and 
Oliveira, do here. It is with difficulty that I can move him 
hence, because, as I trust you will understand well enough from 
what I have just said, his work here was very necessary. But 
as that which is most urgent has to be attended to first of all, 
you must now assist this station of Malacca as soon as possible 
by sending it the aid which it so eagerly craves. So send to 
this place without delay a priest of ours, who is well versed in 
settling cases of conscience, that he may relieve Francesco 
Perez, who is oppressed by such a number of different kinds of 
work, of at least some part of the burthen of hearing confessions 
every day. There is no other Portuguese settlement in India 
that can easily compete with Malacca in its need of good con 
fessors. There is here an incredible confluence from all parts, 
on occasion of the various traffic, of a multitude of Europeans 
-and Indians alike. All the former and a great number of the 
latter profess the Christian religion, and on account of the 
frailty of our human nature they have great need of the remedy 
of sacramental penance, and, if they do not find priests to ad 
minister it to them at the convenient moment, they live in very 
great and most urgent danger of losing the eternal salvation of 
their souls. So if within the year 1549 any priests of our Society 
arrive from Portugal, it will be easy for you to send to this place 
some one of own your community (whose place the newly ar 
rived fathers may supply) by the ship which sails from Goa to 
Malacca in the month of April in next year, 1550. I say the 
month of April, for though I kno\v there is another ship which 
usually sails thither from Goa in the month of September, I am 
still unwilling that the supply of a priest, which is so much 
needed for the city, should be put off to the later time of 

See, moreover, whether you have in the community any one 
of our brethren who, though he be a layman, has still so much 
education as to be able to teach boys to read and write. I 
should very much desire that such a person should be assigned 
as companion to the priest whom I have already appointed 
to come out here, that he may to some extent supply the place 


St. Francis Xavicr. 

of Rocco Oliveira, who must of necessity go to Goa next year, 
to receive there the priesthood, and when he has been ordained, 
to return as soon as possible to Malacca. So, now that I am 
about to set sail for Japan I leave this order, that in the year 
1550 Rocco Oliveira is to be sent to Goa by the ship which 
regularly sails for that port in the month of November, together 
with our novice Joam Bravo, whom I desire to study grammar 
there. It is therefore my decided will, and so I command you, 
Father Paul of Camerino and Antonio Gomez, in virtue of holy 
obedience, to send to Malacca in the month of April next year, 
or if some unforeseen cause which cannot in any way be evaded 
should prevent this, then as soon as you possibly can, the two 
whom I have spoken of, a priest able to hear confessions, and 
another of the Society fit to direct the school. 

I am writing to Father Niccolo to be Superior of and to 
watch over ours who are at Meliapor, and also those who are 
living on the Comorin Coast and at Coulan. In the same way 
I am ordering the missioners of Comorin to obey Father Nic 
colo, and to have recourse to him about their own affairs, as 
often as either for themselves they need assistance, or for the 
Christians of whom they have charge they require favour and 
patronage, writing to him at Coulan or at Cochin, for on ac 
count of business he is always passing to and fro from one of 
these places to the other. I have also given order to Father 
Niccolo, to ask from Goa for whatever he may be informed that 
the people at Comorin have need of. And I desire you, Father 
Antonio Gomez, to carry out at once whatever he requests, and 
I charge and enjoin you as earnestly as is possible to let your 
self omit in that regard nothing which belongs to the very 
height of diligence and the most devoted charity. Father Nic 
colo is to be subject to Father Paul, as when I quitted India I 
remember to have left him orders to be. The pupils of the 
College of Goa, whether Portuguese or natives, are to be go 
verned as Father Antonio Gomez wills. Antonio Gomez him 
self, as I have already ordered, must be subject to Father Paul 
of Camerino, who is also to be Superior of those who are sta 
tioned at Bazain and at Ormuz, so far as I have given orders 

Niccolo Lancilotti. 193 

and explained distinctly to them. And I command both of you 
to take great pains that everything in India goes on in this 
order and discipline, and also to inform me of all that passes. 

Your most affectionate brother in Christ, 
Malacca, June 22, 1549. FRANCIS. 

The mention of Niccolo Lancilotti, who was stationed at 
Coulan, and who is in this letter appointed local Superior of the 
missioners on the Comorin Coast and at Meliapor, is so far 
surprising, as it seems to supersede the former appointment of 
Father Antonio Criminale in the latter capacity, at least as re 
gards the labourers near Cape Comorin. Lqncilotti has already 
been mentioned in the letters more than once as an invalid, 
whose health was gradually recovering itself under the com 
paratively salubrious air of Coulan, where he was posted. He 
felt his own want of strength keenly, if we may judge from a letter 
which he wrote to Ignatius Loyola, 8 in which he speaks of him 
self as an unfruitful tree, only encumbering the ground, while 
his brethren, strong and vigorous men, were doing so much on 
every side of him for the service of God. This inactivity and 
unfruitfulness, however, were by no means barren in results. 
He was usually the only priest at Coulan, and so had alone to 
bear the burthen of preaching to the Portuguese, instructing the 
heathen and intending converts, and keeping up the faith of 
those already converted. He had soon the care of the seminary 
projected, as we have seen, by Francis Xavier, 9 and which was 
founded and maintained at the King s expence, in accordance 
with the suggestion of the Saint. In the care of the boys, for 
whose benefit the seminary was instituted, he showed great de 
votion and singular prudence : his pupils turned out more like 
religious novices than secular youths. He was also noted for 
remarkable gifts in the way of direction and government, was 
much valued by the fathers in India on that account, and highly 
trusted by St. Ignatius. It would seem that Francis Xavier had 
already discovered these rare qualities in the invalid missioner 

s Quoted by Bartoli, Asia, 1. vii. p. 728. 
9 bee the Letter to Simon Rodriguez, ante, p. 91. 

194 St. Francis Xavier. 

at Coulan. It is remarkable also that Antonio Criminale was 
already dead when Francis wrote the letter which we have last 
inserted. It seems hardly possible that he could have known 
this, though there might perhaps have been time for this news 
to reach him before he left Malacca ; but it appears incredible 
that Francis, whose own perpetual prayer it seems to have been 
that he might have the grace to suffer martyrdom for the cause 
of Jesus Christ, should not have made any mention of the glo 
rious death of his religious brother, if the tidings had reached 
him at this time. 

Criminale had, in fact, laid down his life like a good shep 
herd for his flock. The little island or peninsula of Remanancor, 
lying close to the land at the northeastern extremity of the 
Fishery Coast, seems to have been famous for a pagan shrine, 
served by Brahmins, and resorted to by pilgrims from all parts 
of southern and central India. Near this spot was a Portu 
guese fort, at a place called Beadala, already mentioned in one 
of the letters of Francis Xavier. 10 The Commandant of this had 
dug a trench across the narrow tongue of land which connected 
the pagoda with the coast, apparently by way of bravado and 
insult to the natives. The challenge was taken up, however, 
much to the cost of the Portuguese themselves, by the old 
enemies of everything Christian along the coast, the uncontrol 
lable Badages. An army of six thousand men marched upon 
the fort, or rather on a much easier prey, the Christian popula 
tion in the neighbourhood. The Portuguese garrison, number 
ing only forty men, embarked and made off, notwithstanding 
the earnest entreaties of Antonio Criminale, who happened to 
be on the spot, and who urged them to endeavour to come to 
some arrangement with the enemy. Several Portuguese were 
wounded in their flight, and five died. The alarm and misery 
of the unfortunate Christians thus abandoned to their fate can 
easily be imagined. The Father, urged to seek his own safety 
with the Portuguese, refused, and remained to share the fate 
of such of his poor flock as could not escape by sea. The 
accounts of his martyrdom are remarkable. As the Badages 
10 Letter xxxi. vol. i. p. 225. 

Death of Antonio Criminate. 195 

approached, he threw himself on his knees, his arms extended in 
the form of a cross, and his eyes raised to heaven. First one 
party and then another passed him, and struck by some sudden 
respect, left him unhurt ; but before he could make his way to 
the church, he was wounded, stripped, and left lying with a 
lance through his body. He detached the lance, and went on 
slowly crawling to the church, when another party of the Bad- 
ages fell on him and dispatched him. He was only in his 
thirtieth year, and was the first of a long series of members of 
the Society who obtained the crown of martyrdom in the Indies. 
We have still three more letters remaining to us, written by 
Francis Xavier during this short period of expectation at Ma 
lacca ; and if those which have already been inserted tell us so 
much of his zeal for souls, his simplicity of intention, his intrepid 
ity in the face of danger, and his tender care for his religious 
brethren, the three which. follow next in order reflect other fea 
tures of his character, without some consideration of which our 
estimate of him would be incomplete. The first letter, which is 
addressed to the same fathers at Goa as the last, shows his in 
exhaustible charity under a new and pleasant form. It is written 
with that peculiar liveliness of which we have seen instances in 
his letters to Le Jay and Laynez from Lisbon 11 instances which 
make us regret that we have fewer letters of this kind, addressed 
familiarly to friends without any fear of their being shown to 
others. We can almost picture to ourselves the rough, honest, 
truthful cavalier to whom Francis suggests, not only that it is 
time for him to settle down after so many adventurous wander 
ings, but also that he should marry a certain virtuous and worthy 
young lady, an orphan at Goa, whom her future husband had 
never seen. We can imagine the commendations which Francis 
would bestow upon her in order to win his friend to promise 
on the spot to marry her. Then there is a different and scarcely 
less picturesque sketch presented to us the good dame be 
sieging the doors and parlours of the College of Santa Fe with 
daily attentions, sending in clothes or food as she guesses that 
the fathers or brothers may be in need, always ready to take 
11 Letter ix. vol. i. p. 95. 

196 Sf. Francis Xavier. 

in a poor girl rescued from evil ways, to help a family in sudden 
distress, to nurse the sick, or to assist in the instruction of a 
convert. Such she used to be : but now misfortune has fallen 
upon her. She is a widow, and her only child, a fine marriage 
able girl, good, simple, modest, and attractive withal, is an 
orphan, with but slender do\vry, except that her father held an 
office under the crown for which he probably had to pay 
and in the patent which conferred it a clause has been inserted, 
by virtue of which she may take it with her as a marriage por 
tion to any one who may win her for his wife. There is a little 
difficulty in the way of the arrangement contemplated by Fran 
cis, as the office in question is rather beneath the dignity of his 
friend, whom he proposes as husband to the orphan girl, and 
he accordingly furnishes Antonio and Paul with excellent rea 
sons, by means of which the Governor, Don Garcia da Sa, or 
as Francis had already predicted his speedy death his succes 
sor, may be persuaded to let the office be sold, and the money 
thus raised applied to swell the scanty portion of the intended 

(LXXVI.) To Father Paul of Camerino and Father 
Antonio Go?)iez. 

May the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be always 
with us to help and favour us ! Amen. 

Since I wrote to you at such great length, something has 
happened which has made me think it well to say a few words 
to you once more. You must understand that I have fallen in 
here with an old friend of mine. I have very few so dear to 
me. His name is Cristoval Carvalho. He is unmarried, sin 
gularly virtuous, rich, of good family, altogether highly accom 
plished, and of good parts. In the desire which I profess of 
helping on every one to salvation, I began to urge on my friend, 
for the sake of the affection between us, and to implore him for 
the love of God, to make up his mind to give up the rattling, 
desultory, wandering sort of life which he has been leading, so 

Crist oval Carvalho. 197 

full of danger to his property and even to his life, and, what is 
of much more importance, exposing him to the greatest peril of 
losing his eternal salvation. How long was he to go on passing 
from place to place, a stranger everywhere, never more than 
a chance guest wherever he happens to be ? would he never 
have a home of his own to be quiet in ? would he never find an 
unoccupied moment to recollect his thoughts and put his con 
science in order ? and so on. Well, on all this he showed himself 
by no means inclined to despise my benevolent exhortations. 
Indeed, he confessed that he was beginning to feel somewhat 
bored by his perpetual wanderings. He had been afloat long 
enough, and was now looking with a yearning heart for the 
port and fixed anchorage of a settled life. In fact, he was 
minded to plant his home somewhere or other; to collect under 
a rooftree of his own the ample means which he had gained by 
traffic of so many kinds, in which he had been prosperous 
enough, and there apply his wealth, which he had no occasion 
to go on increasing, in whatever way might be required by calls 
of charity and religion, and of gratitude to God Who had given 
it to him, as well as by the repose which was suitable to his 
years, which have now got on to the point at which decline 
begins, and by the care of his bodily health. 

While we were talking of all this, there came most happily 
into my mind the remembrance of that good lady, whose maternal 
love for our Society, evidenced as it is by diligent and daily ser 
vices, has made us dub her with the title of our Mother. So I 
proposed to Carvalho to marry the daughter of this good dame. 
I spoke, as I could with all truth, of the good disposition, the 
virtue, the high character of the girl. My man was by no 
means deaf to what I said; indeed, he was much moved by the 
very sincere praises which I gave to that good maiden and her 
qualities. In short, he promised that he would marry her. 
Now, I have no doubt at all, that he will be as good as his 
word ; he has always been a man of such truthfulness, and be 
sides, the unfailing and staunch friendship which he has always 
kept up with me is another security. Especially too, as he 
quite sees that the step will be a very excellent, useful, and 

198 Sf. Francis Xa-vier. 

honourable one for himself one that will enable him to lead a 
peaceful, happy, and tranquil life. So I have not hesitated to 
communicate the whole matter to our Mother, in a letter which 
I have written to her, as if it was quite sure to come off, if she 
consents to it ; and I cannot doubt that she will do so, and 
think it a great happiness to gain so splendid an alliance with 
such a man as Cristoval, good as well as rich. 

The affair is, as you see, in good train ; but nevertheless- 
there are many obstacles that intervene to prevent the execu 
tion of such plans, and in this case I see clearly that the affair 
will not be easily managed, unless you take it up and urge it 
with all your might. So I pray and entreat you both to remem 
ber the great devotion to us which that good Mother of ours 
has shown ; her acts of daily liberality to us ; her immense 
charity and goodwill; and then to consider that God now offers 
you a very precious occasion of repaying all her benefits to us 
by a return and recompense prompted by our gratitude to her, 
which is indeed only one favour against many, but which still 
will be so important in itself as to weigh in the scale as if it were 
a whole host of acts of kindness. So pray exert yourself to the 
utmost, both working yourselves, and also asking and using the 
credit and efforts of the first Treasurer, 12 to the same end, in 
order that that afflicted family may not lose the benefit of this 
most happy opportunity. Do, I pray you, all that you can, 
that, now that Divine Providence, ; .n its care for the lonely 
state of that most honourable widow, and for the bereaved con 
dition of her orphaned daughter, as good and innocent a girl as 
any in the world, offers this means of relief to each, they may 
each have the full benefit of it. 

I don t think you will have much trouble in bringing Cristo 
val Carvalho to the necessary point. I know well his constancy 
and faithfulness, and I can t fear for a moment that he will 
recall his word, or refuse to accomplish what he has promised 
me. As for the Treasurer, in order to get him to do what he 
can, it will be enough to allege, as you may with perfect truth, 
that the matter is one which he may most properly use his au- 
15 Probably Francis friend Cosmo Aiiez. 

Diego Freezes Daughter. 199 

thority to bring about, for it belongs, above all things else, to 
the praise and service of our Lord God. And in the next place 
it is one in which he ought to feel the highest concern, because 
upon it depends the good estate and the safety, the whole in 
terests of the peace and hopes, of a family which has been left 
under his charge, of a lady of the highest character, who is his 
own relative, and of a young maiden who is really one in a 
thousand in point of worth, who looks to him as her guardian 
for help and patronage. I am in high hopes that when you say 
this to that good and prudent man, the Treasurer, God will, in 
His goodness, aid you, so that you may easily persuade him to 
what we desire. 

And now you know very well that our Mother has in her 
possession a royal rescript, duly signed and sealed, granting her 
power to transfer the office under the crown which her husband, 
Diego Froez (to whose soul may God give glory !), held while 
he was alive, with all its emoluments, to any one to whom she 
may choose to give her daughter in marriage, and thus, in fact, 
to make the post a part of her dowry. This being so, it will be 
necessary to get the Governor to allow the office to be assigned 
to some one else, who will pay a sum of money for it, which 
may be applied to the completion of the girl s dowry. The 
reason why this is necessary, is that Cristoval Carvalho is too 
high in rank and too rich not to think it beneath him to have 
anything to do with that employment, especially as, as I have 
said, he is tired of troubles and of business, and what he so 
looks for in his married life is ease and repose from his past 
labours. I feared from the first that this might be the difficulty 
in the matter that perhaps people would be found at Goa to 
contend that such a rescript should be observed to the letter, 
exactly as it stands in the text, that thus what his Highness had 
written should be stuck to against his own intention, and 
against the manifest equity of the case, and to strive,, by this 
false allegation, to prevent the King s benevolence from taking 
effect, and to shut this orphan maiden and her widowed mother 
out of their fortune. If anything of this kind should oppose 
itself, I beg of you to act on the other side, exert yourselves to 

2oo St. Francis Xavier. 

the utmost, and use all the energy in your power, by yourselves, 
by means of the Treasurer, and by means of any one else 
whose credit and intercession may seem likely to be of any 
avail, in order to bring the Governor and the King s offi 
cials, in whose power the matter lies, to put this benignant 
interpretation on the will of his Highness in granting this pri 
vilege. Every one can surely see that the King simply intended 
that the daughter of Diego Froez should have the advantage of 
the reward owing to her father. He could not have intended 
that, if it should chance that she should come to be married to 
a man who was not fit to administer her father s office, this 
poor young lady should be mulcted of a large part of what her 
father has left behind him. I do hope confidently that God, 
Who is the Defender of the widow and the Father of the father 
less, will help you to win this most equitable suit. And I am 
so earnest in desiring you to take it up and urge it so strongly, 
that I really think that you cannot, without incurring the guilt 
and shameful stain of ingratitude, which would fall in disgrace 
upon the whole of the Society, omit any possible industry or 
diligence in this matter of so much importance to our good 
mother, until you succeed in getting rid of all obstacles and 
bringing to a happy conclusion this marriage, which I am sure 
God approves ; that so provision may be made for the good 
condition, comfort, and dignity of a lady who has conferred 
such singular obligations upon us, and of that virtuous modest 
maiden, her daughter. 

You will find Carvalho himself very easy to manage, and 
docile in all that may be required of him. As I said, he has 
promised me, and he is a man of stainless faith, but more than 
this, he has let me see well that he thinks very highly of such 
a connection as that I am speaking of, and he has the greatest 
hopes of finding that this marriage will give him the rest he 
wants, the tranquil happiness for what remains of this life, which 
he so much longs for. And now I think I have said enough to 
explain this desire of mine, and unless I am mistaken, to make 
you approve it. I shall consider it a most joyful piece of news 
and a great favour to myself, if I hear from you that I have 

Duarte Eareto. 201 

gained my point. May God unite us in His glory ! for whether 
we shall ever see one another again in this life is at present 
very uncertain. Farewell. 

Your brother in Christ, 
.Malacca, Eve of St. John Baptist, 1549. FRANCIS. 

The next letter, written at the same time, is on quite a 
different subject the excellent qualities of one of the King s 
officials at Malacca. He seems to have been auditor of the 
revenue, and as such to have had need of great integrity and up 
rightness in deciding questions which came before him. Francis 
pleads earnestly with the King for some greater reward than 
his friend has as yet reaped in the salary or perquisites of his 

(LXXVII.) To "John III. King of Portugal. 

Since your Highness, in your royal letters from Portugal, 
has commanded me to give you a written report of those who 
in these regions of India faithfully and diligently discharge the 
duty committed to them, I would have your Highness know 
that Duarte Barreto, who has lately been managing the affairs 
of your realm at Malacca, has in the discharge of his office left 
nothing undone which could have been looked for from a man 
of skill, industry and faithfulness. He has taken care of the 
interests of the revenue, he has done good service to the mer 
chants, by deciding the cases before him justly without respect 
to persons, and he has moreover conducted himself in all re 
spects in such a manner, that his administration as magistrate 
has done honour to your Highness among the natives in this 
part of the world, for men have taken him as a specimen, and 
have commonly thought that you are in the habit of sending to 
them as officials of your kingdom men whom you know to be 
very well furnished with those virtues which you most highly 
approve, and which you yourself possess in abundance. 

For my part, I consider that the glory of kings and princes 
who have widely extended dominions is concerned in this, that 
they commit those parts of their dominions, which they cannot 

2O2 St. Francis Xavier. 

administer themselves, to men to whom it may be honourable 
for themselves to be thought like, men of whom the people 
may think, when they have seen them and had experience of 
their honesty, gravity and justice, and learnt to honour and 
value those virtues in them, that they behold and have before 
them, in the deputies sent to live among them by their sove 
reign, an express portrait of the noble and honourable qualities 
of their absent sovereign himself. Duarte Barreto belongs be 
yond all others to that most excellent number and kind of 
ministers, who make their supreme happiness consist in ren 
dering perfect service to their King. On this account he is a 
man who deserves that your Highness should deign to advance 
him in substance and in dignity, and whose very distinguished 
services you should think it well to seek occasion to remune 
rate. In order to act as he has done, he has had to undergo 
a great deal of labour, and, as there are abundance of bad 
characters out here, to take up a good many quarrels and fight 
many battles. 

The appointment at Malacca, of which I spoke, cannot 
well be considered as an adequate reward for his sedulous dili 
gence during so many years. In the first place, it has happened 
by some chance that it brought him in very little ; and in the 
second place, he was not able to hold it for the full term; and 
so he has left this place a poor man. Be good enough, there 
fore, Sire, to make some provision for him, as a man who in 
truth has well earned any favour, however great, from your 
Highness. I pray that God may add many years to the pro 
sperous and happy life of your Highness, and that He may 
grant you in His clemency to know in this life His most holy 
will, and mercifully supply you with abundant strength of soul 
to think and act and feel as you would rejoice to have done in 
your last moment. 

Your Highness s useless servant, 

Malacca, June 23, 1549. FRANCIS. 

One letter more remains to us, which from the particular 
manner in which it is dated seems to have been the very last 
work of Francis Xavier before embarking for Japan. The little 

On the eve of Sailing. 203 

church of Our Lady of the Mount, near Malacca, was near the 
favourite abode of Francis when at that place, mentioned in 
the preceding volume. 1:! It was there that he was saying mass 
at the time when the insolent challenge of the Acheenese Com 
mander to Don Simon de Melo arrived, which led to the or 
ganization of the Christian armament, whose signal victory over 
the barbarians was announced by Francis in the pulpit at the 
moment at which it took place. 14 There then, the night before 
he sailed, with his mind full of Japan and of the dangers of the 
voyage he was so soon to have, Francis must have stolen away 
from the countless friends who would be anxious to see him 
and force on him their offerings or good wishes at so critical a 
moment, and spent a part of his few remaining hours in quietly 
drawing up a rule of life for Joam Bravo, the newly admitted 
brother of whom mention has already been made. The next 
evening, about sunset, says Mendez Pinto, who was at Ma 
lacca at the time, he embarked in a small junk belonging to 
a Chinese corsair called Necoda, and then the next morning 
set sail and departed. He was soon to be alone with his few 
companions amid the strange crew of superstitious idolaters in 
whose company he was to suffer so much, as we shall see when 
we come to speak of his voyage. The admiring crowds, the 
friendly generous merchants, Don Pedro de Silva, the son of 
the great Vasco de Gama, who had shown him so much kind 
ness, Perez and Oliveira with their troops of penitents and 
happy Christian children streaming along the streets in proces 
sion, all were soon to be as far from him as if he had left them 
behind in another world. And in the far distance beyond 
Malacca, there were others, still dearer and subjects of greater 
anxiety or affection from whom he was separating himself, with 
great likelihood of never meeting them again his beloved 
children on the Comorin Coast, the missioners to whom he had 
entrusted them, Niccolo at Coulan, Cipriani at Meliapor, An 
tonio Criminale, as he may have thought, among the pearl 
fishers, and then his old companion Paul at Goa, Antonio 
Gomez, the subject of many an earnest prayer, and his chosen 
13 Vol. i. p. 348. u Vol. i. p. 412. 

2O4 St. Francis Xavier. 

disciple Caspar Baertz at Ormuz, for whose benefit he had 
poured out so much of his own carefully stored experience of 
men, and of the means of leading them out of the mazes of sin 
and reconciling them to God. And far beyond these again there 
lay Italy and Rome, and Lisbon and Coimbra, each with their 
little knot of friends for whom his heart yearned, as it seems, 
all the more intensely as the time since they had parted grew 
longer and longer, without making their associations and me 
mories less fresh within him. There was Simon his peculiar friend 
and brother, there also that father of his soul, whose name seems 
to force itself upon his pen even in this last paper which he drew 
up, which describes so simply and plainly that daily rule of life 
which, in principle, was the great security for the unity of spirit 
between the widely scattered members of the Society, and those 
maxims of selfknowledge and selfconquest which he himself 
had learned so many years ago when he first became the dis 
ciple and child of Ignatius. 

(LXXVIII.) To Joam Bravo. 

My dearest brother, I should wish you to follow with the 
greatest constancy every day the following order for your religi 
ous life. In the morning, as soon as you are awake, meditate on 
a mystery of the life of Christ, beginning from His holy Nativity 
and going on in continuous order to His triumphal Ascension 
into heaven. You have the matterfor these meditations arranged 
in order in the book of the Spiritual Exercises. You must spend 
at least half an hour in this holy meditation, with the same at 
tention and devotion of mind, and all the observances and rules 
which you remember that you used when you went through the 
exercises of your month s retreat. You must go on every day to 
a new meditation, so that when, for instance, on Monday you 
have contemplated the Nativity of Christ, on Tuesday you must 
consider His Circumcision, and so on in order, until by the end 
of the month you have gone through all the actions of the Lord 
Jesus and come to the end of all, that is, the glorious Ascen 
sion. After this you should begin again, and go through the 

Rule of Life. 205 

same round from the first, proceeding from one mystery to an 
other that comes next to it, and so spend another month in 
going over the same steps as before. At the end of each of these 
exercises you must renew the vows which you have once made, 
especially those chief vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, 
making them, I say, over again, and offering them to God r 
reviving and rekindling the same deep fervour with which you 
made them the first time. Besides other fruits that you will 
gain, you will by this repetition of your vows blunt the assaults 
of concupiscence and of our infernal enemy, both of which will 
be always inciting you to evil things, and for this reason I think 
you should never omit this renewal. 

After you have dined and rested a little afterwards, you 
must repeat your morning s meditation, and spend half an hour 
upon it, considering again the same mystery, and you must add 
again at the end the renewal of your vows. This must be a 
fixed and immutable rule for you, always kept up amid all the 
variety of your actions during the day, and no avocation or 
occupation must be so important to you as to prevent you from 
giving a full hour every day to this pious meditation of the most 
holy life of Christ our Lord. And in this matter the division 
which I have arranged for you will be convenient, so that you 
may put aside half an hour out of the morning, and half an 
hour out of the afternoon for this purpose. It seems to me 
that the most free space for the last will be the time towards 
evening when Father Francesco Perez, with whom you live, 
holds his catechetical school : that will be a time when you will 
be at lesiure to attend to your afternoon prayer. 

At night, before you go to sleep, you must examine your 
conscience, enquiring into the thoughts, words, and deeds of 
the whole day, and also whether you have left out anything of 
what you ought to have done. Examine all these things as if 
you were presently going to cleanse your soul in sacramental 
confession to a priest, and then conceive deep contrition for 
what you have done amiss, or for what you have omitted, out 
of regard to God, Whom you have offended thereby, and Whom 
you love above all things, and then pray Jesus Christ earnestly 

206 Sf. Francis Xavier. 

to prosper you, and promise amendment. After all this, recite 
the Pater and Ave, and compose yourself to rest in such a 
way that sleep may steal upon you with your thoughts fixed on 
divine things, and your mind preparing itself to spend the next 
day in greater holiness. 

When you wake the next morning, raise your thoughts at 
once to heaven, and while you are putting on your clothes and 
washing your hands and face, call to mind the faults into which 
you fell the day before, and ask of our Lord grace to avoid 
them that day. Then make your morning meditation, as you 
have done the day before, and in the same way go through your 
other duties in order. Be so constant in this method of life, as 
never to think it lawful for you to give up the least part of it } 
except when hindered by illness, and whenever as long as you 
are well and strong, you shall, under pretext of any intervening 
cause whatever, either have put off or not fully performed any 
of these things presented to you, make it a matter of conscience 
and confess your fault before the Fathers, asking of your own 
accord to have punishment given you for your negligence in 
either omitting, or doing in a perfunctory way, a thing which 
has been so urgently enjoined upon you by your Superior. 

For the rest, whatever you may have to do, wherever you 
may go, in whatever you may be engaged, whether occupation 
or relaxation, always be on the alert and endeavour strenuously 
to exert all your strength in striving to conquer yourself in 
everything, break your desires, embrace what your feelings shrink 
from, and especially to beat down your innate appetite for 
praise and superior excellence, and spare no pains at all until 
pride be torn out by the roots, and you are able to bear wil 
lingly to be put down below everything and even to rejoice to 
be despised. Be sure of this, that without this submissiveness, 
without this command over the evil movements of the soul, you 
will do no good either to yourself or to others, nor will you be 
able to please God or to persevere in the Society of Jesus. 

Obey the Father with whom you live in all things, and exe 
cute with the greatest alacrity whatever he may order you, how 
ever disagreeable it may be ; never resist him, never make for 

Rule of Life. 207 

any cause whatever any exception to what he orders, and lis 
ten to what he says and bend yourself entirely to his word as 
your director in all things, exactly as if our Father Ignatius 
were present and were to command the same things. What 
ever temptations, of whatever sort or manner, you find yourself 
assailed by, tell them at once with the greatest candour to your 
Superior, and persuade yourself, as of a matter of the greatest 
certainty, that there is no other way to avoid yielding to 
them ; and besides this advantage, there is another great gain 
for the soul attached to this openness in confessing the secret 
movements of the heart. For by that means we gain great 
favour with God, a sort of favour which brings with it a pledge 
of great reward hereafter, on account of the generally trouble 
some victory which we win over our natural feeling of shame. 
Yes, and a great blow is inflicted thereby on the hopes and in- 
siduous machinations of our hellish foe, whose principal power 
to hurt us lies in his remaining concealed, and who is disarmed 
if he be dragged into light, and then it turns out that all his 
perverse expectations are dashed to the ground, and he is made 
a laughingstock of those whom he was plotting against, and 
who are safe and secure against him. Farewell. 

Most cordially and affectionately yours, 


In the Chapel of our Blessed Lady of the Mount, 
near Malacca, the night before the Feast of the 
Nativity of St. John the Baptist, 1549; just 
about to set sail for Japan. 


(i.) Account of Japan sent to Father Ignatius Loyola at Rome, 
drawn from the statements of Anger (Han-Siro~} t the Japanese 

IN his letter to Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis mentions the ac 
count of Japan given by his convert Paul of the holy Faith. We 
find this document, with another similar account, written by Jorge 
Alvarez (a Portuguese merchant), in the volume of letters preserved 
in the College of Coimbra. The first we give in a close translation : 

Information respecting the island of Japan, given by Paul, formerly called 
Han-Siro, recently converted to our holy Faith, a native of the said island. 

Northwards from China, and further east, the Portuguese 
merchants discovered an island called Japan, in the same latitude 
as Italy : it measures (according to the account given me) 600 
leagues from cast to west, and 300 in width. From that island 
came, in the month of April last, a man of great intelligence and 
sagacity named Angero, bringing with him two servants. Among 
other things, he asked information concerning our holy Faith, 
and having been instructed therein, after a short space of time he 
became a Christian, taking the name of Paul. He remained with 
us in this our College of St. Paul of the holy Faith, in Goa, where 
he learned to read and write Portuguese, and translated into his 
own language a short summary of the doctrines and practices es 
sential to our holy religion. This man gave himself to prayer 
and contemplation, calling on and sighing for our Lord Jesus 
Christ ; his goodness is so great that it cannot be easily told. 
Whilst a catechumen he gave, at our request, an account of the 
customs and laws of his country ; but since he was not initiated 
in the sects as some of his countrymen who are held to be learned, 
and he only knew the common language, on this account he related 
things only according to the current popular opinion. This in 
formation I transmit to you as he told it to us, intending to write 
all more certainly by and by, and how our Father Master Francis 
has by that time been there, and has himself made personal ac 
quaintance with the inhabitants and the writings of that country. 

In the first place, he informed us that the whole island of 
Japan is subject to one king ; under him there are great lords, 

Account of "Japan. 209 

like our dukes and counts ; their number amounts altogether to 
about fourteen in all Japan ; and when one of them dies, his 
eldest son inherits the entire estate, the younger sons having some 
castle allotted them for their maintenance, on condition that they 
maintain obedience to the head of the family, so as not to divide 
the estate. The least of these nobles, he says, can send into the 
field 10,000 men, others 15,000, others 20,000 or 30,000. The 
chief ruler or king is called Voo ; he is of a more noble race than 
the rest, and can only marry in his own family. He has jurisdic 
tion in things spiritual as well as temporal, and over both seculars 
and religious, these last being very numerous in this country ; 
indeed, his authority seems like that of the Pope amongst us. 
Though he has authority over all, he never makes war or puts any 
to death ; all such things he leaves to another among them, who is 
like the Emperor, and is called Goxo, and with whom rests all the 
government, and who rules the island. He is under the obedience 
of the aforenamed Voo, and when he visits him, he kneels and 
bends his head on his thigh ; and, though he has a great court of 
lords, captains, and soldiers, who superintend matters connected 
with carrying on war and justice, if the Goxo should do any evil, 
the Voo can cause him to be deprived of his kingdom and be 
headed. The less obey the greater very much, on account of the 
stern justice they use. All crimes are by them punished with the 
same severity. The Voo lives as follows : he takes a wife of his 
own family, and when the moon begins to wane he begins to fast 
and to separate from his wife, and give himself to meditation and 
prayer for fifteen days, eating very little, and being dressed in white 
the whole time, and wearing a large crown upon his head, until 
the moon changes : but when she begins to increase, he at once 
begins to lead a life of pleasure with his wife, goes to hunt, and 
enjoys many other amusements. If his wife dies before he is 
thirty he may marry again, but not after that age; and the rest of 
his life he must keep perpetual chastity, and live like a religious, 
and at no time may he have intercourse with any woman but his 

Besides the great lords, the nation has other gentlemen, mer 
chants and officials of every grade, as amongst ourselves. Gener 
ally no one has more than one wife. If she prove unfaithful, and 
the husband can surprise her with her paramour, he is authorised 
to kill them both ; if he kill only one, public justice proceeds 
against the other, and puts him to death ; but if he kill neither, it 
is considered a disgrace to him. When a wife is believed guilty of 
adultery, yet cannot be taken in the act, she is sent home to her 


2io St. Francis Xavier. 

father s house, and then the husband does not lose his honour, but 
may marry again, she herself being for ever dishonoured and not 
allowed to remarry. It is thought infamous for one who lives 
with his/wife to have intercourse with another woman. The no 
bles send their sons to the monasteries to be educated as soon as 
they are eight years old, and they remain there until they are 
nineteen or twenty, learning reading, writing, and religion; as soon 
as they come out they marry, and apply themselves to politics. 

There are in these islands three sorts of religious, who have 
monasteries like our friars, some within the cities, and some with 
out : those in the cities do not marry, live on alms, and shave their 
heads and beards. They wear long habits with wide sleeves, 
almost like our friars ; in winter they cover their heads, but the 
rest of the year they are always uncovered ; they eat together like 
friars, and fast many times in the year. These religious eat no 
animal food, in order to afflict their bodies and extirpate all sin 
ful desires, and this abstinence is common to all the religious. 
They rise in the middle of the night to say prayers, which they 
chant for about half an hour, and then sleep till dawn, when they 
again arise, and say other prayers ; they also recite prayers at 
sunrise, at midday, and in the evening ; at this last time they sound 
a bell, and all the people fall on their knees to pray, as we do at 
home. These religious pray in a language not understood by the 
common people, just as our priests do in Latin. 

These religious preach frequently to the people ; their sermons 
are well attended, and they move both themselves and their hearers 
to tears. They preach that there is one Supreme God, Creator of 
all things ; and that there is a Purgatory, Paradise, and Hell, and 
that all souls, alike good and bad, go to Purgatory, and then se 
parate, the good for the place where God is, the bad for the abode 
of the devil, who, they say, is sent by God into the world in 
order to chastise evildoers. These religious lead a very virtuous 
life, except that they are stained by an abominable sin connected 
with the boys they have to teach in their monasteries, although 
they teach the people that this is a great siri, and praise chastity. 
They wear long black robes from head to foot, and are very learned. 
Each house has a Superior, whom all obey, and they receive 
only virtuous persons to become priests. There is another sort of 
priests, whose members dress in gray ; these likewise do not marry. 
They have religious houses for women, like nuns. It is said that 
they have intercourse together, but that the birth of children is 
prevented by certain drugs. All the houses of these religious men 
have nuns houses by their side. They are persons of little learn- 

Account of Japan. 1 1 1 

ing ; they pray in the same manner with those before mentioned, 
and sometimes they fast. There is also another sort of religious, 
who go clothed in black robes and do much penance. They go to 
prayer three times a day, at morning, at evening, and at rhidnight. 
All the houses of prayer of these religious are alike, and contain 
images made of wood and gilt. There arc also pictures painted 
on the walls. All adore one God, whom they call Dinicho in their 
language, or sometimes Cogi. The second order of gray religious 
mentioned above, when they make prayer in their choir, make it 
together with the nuns, the friars on one side, the nuns on the 
other, chanting alternately, at midnight as at other times. 

This excellent man also narrated to us the history of a man 
who is esteemed a saint among them, as we say. He said that 
there lived once in a land beyond China, called Chenguinquo, a king 
named Sanbon, whose wife was called Illagabuni. One night this 
king dreamt that a son was to be born to him, who should be a 
very great man and regarded as a god in all those lands. This 
dream he told to his wife, who nine months later had a son, whom 
they called Xaqua, at whose birth t\vo huge winged serpents were 
seen to float over the palace, descend to where the child was 
without doing him any harm, and presently disappear. When 
Xaqua was nineteen years old, his father wished him to marry ; 
but he, impressed with the miseries of this life, fled by night to 
the mountains, where for the space of six years he lived a life of 
solitary penance. At the end of this time he reappeared amongst 
his countrymen, and began to preach with great fervour and elo 
quence to all those people. His reputation for sanctity soon 
spread, and he acquired unbounded influence, so that he remo 
delled the laws of the country, and taught the people how to adore 
God. It is said that Xaqua made 8000 converts, some of whom 
carried his doctrines into China, preaching his laws and religion ; 
that they converted China and the kingdom of Chenguinquo, making 
the people destroy the idols and pagodas ; and that they were 
established in China and Chenguinquo, and thence came to Japan, 
making the people do the same ; and even now fragments ofancicnt 
statues are found there, as they are found at Rome. 

This Xaqua taught that there is one God, Creator of all things ; 
and exhorted his followers to accept five precepts : i. not to kill ; 
2. not to steal ; 3. not to commit fornication 4. not to be 
passionate for things that cannot be remedied ; 5. to forgive in 
juries. He also wrote many books full of much virtue and very 
useful, wherein he taught the manners which men ought to ob 
serve, each according to his state. 

212 St. Francis Xavier. 

He prescribed frequent fasts, and taught that penance is 
highly pleasing to God, and of great necessity for the salvation of 
sinners : he urged religious to be diligent in visiting the sick 
and exhorting them to make their wills ; and when they see the 
sick person to be in danger of death, they are to preach to him of 
the goods of the other life, and tell him not to be pained about 
present things, since all is vanity. And when the sick man dies, 
the said religious are to come in procession, chanting, and take 
the body to the cloister of their monastery, always asking God to 
pardon his sins ; and they are to bury all poor and rich without 
any difference, nor receive anything for this as a reward, he being 
held a bad man who would receive it, though it is true that he ex 
horted them, if the family of the dead offered some alms, to take 

This good man also affirmed that in Japan they do penance 
in this way, fasting and observing chastity a hundred days con 
tinuously, and then retiring into a wood situated on the side of a 
mountain, in which live some austere anchorites and in whicli 
many fearful sounds and horrible cries are heard, and strange 
fires seen. The penitents remained here seventy-five days, eating 
only as much rice as could be contained in the palms of the hands, 
and drinking water. At the end of the time they all united, and 
went to a desert beyond the forest, sometimes more than 1000 at 
once, and kneeling before a pagoda each one confessed aloud the 
sins of his whole life, all the others being silent and very atten 
tive, and after this each one swore on the idol to keep the confes 
sions of the others secret. All the time they never sleep nor "un 
dress, they wear a coarse rough dress, are tightly girt, have their 
heads uncovered, and never sit. Each day they walk five or six 
leagues in the neighbourhood of the forest, all together as in 
procession, and at certain fixed places they rest a long time and 
light a large fire and warm themselves. There is a master who 
guides all their prayers and penances, and if any one sleeps at 
this time of rest, the master beats him; and if anyone falls ill and 
cannot go on, they leave him alone, and he dies abandoned, while 
the others continue their march. But if any one die before the 
others, they all help to bury him, and leave in writing on a post 
the name of the dead man and where he comes from. And these 
pilgrims carry a tablet on which is their name and that of their 

Paul also says that these pilgrims often see many monstrous 
phantasms and diabolical illusions, the devils often presenting 
themselves amongst them, so that a hundred persons seemed two- 

Account of yapan. 2 1 3 

hundred, each person having as it were his own double by his 
side ; and the master seeing that some had not the tablet with 
their name, would bid his penitents be quiet and pray earnestly 
to Dinicho their god to deliver them from such company; and on 
this prayer the devils would disappear, and leave the penitents to 
finish their exercises in peace, at the end of which they were found 
weak, worn, and disfigured by their friends who come to revest 
them in their ordinary apparel and conduct them home. 

Paul told us also that there are in Japan many sorcerers 
and enchanters ; however, they are little esteemed by wise and 
prudent men ; there are also very great astrologers, who foretell 
events to come. The natives write chronicles of their history, 
much as we do ourselves, and they resemble us also in their man 
ners and subtlety of invention. Indeed, the author of our present 
information gives tokens of a mental power which many of us 
might envy; nor is his cleverness of an unpractical kind, being 
shown in action as well as in speech. He appears much shocked 
at the vices which he cannot but perceive amongst Christians. 
He thinks that all the Japanese will become Christians, because 
it is written in their law and in their books that all laws are to be 
one, and they expect a more perfect law than their own, and he 
cannot imagine one more perfect than ours. He says he is very 
happy in having received so great a blessing from God, in that he 
has been taken as the instrument to introduce Christian people 
into Japan, who may preach this holy law ; and although he is 
married, he offers himself to go to Japan and stay with the fathers 
who go there two years more, until some good beginning of a 
Christian community is made there, and until the fathers know 
the language. 

He says that the climate is very healthy, and that hurricanes 
and earthquakes are of frequent occurrence. The fruits and metals 
are much the same as those of Europe; also the animals and birds, 
which are both very numerous ; there are few poisonous serpents. 
No wine is made from grapes, but a fermented liquor is distilled 
from rice, as from barley in Flanders ; there are wild vines in the 
woods which bear grapes. The people eat rice with meat and 
lish as in India. Wheat is plentiful ; it is not made into bread, 
but used for pastry and the like, rice being used as a substitute 
for bread. The flesh of wild fowls is eaten, but not that of chickens ; 
indeed no domestic animal is used as an article of food. He says 
that in this country there is a duke who has on his banner a sign 
like a cross, and none but his own family can bear it. The whole 
nation pray on beads as we do ; those who can read use little 

2 1 4 6V. Francis Xavier. 

books, and those who pray on beads say on each bead a prayer 
twice as long as the Pater nostcr. These strings of beads, or ro 
saries, have one hundred and eight beads. They say that their 
learned men teach that each man has one hundred and eight sorts 
of sin, and that he must say a prayer against each of these. This 
prayer is in a tongue not understood by the people, as Latin with 
us. When they get up in the morning, they say nine words, 
raising the fingers of the right hand, to defend themselves against 
the devil. The religious make profession and vows of chastity, 
poverty, and obedience, and practise this in humility before they 
are received into religion. 

The climate of Japan resembles that of Italy, and the natives 
are much like the Italians in height. They are discreet, magna 
nimous, and lovers of virtue and letters, honouring learned men 
very much. Their customs of government in peace and war are 
like ours. Justice is very expeditious. A man is allowed to kill 
his own slave for an insult or injury. The supreme dignity of the 
Yoo, who is like the Pope, descends to his eldest son or to his 
nearest relation by the father s side. So it is with the other princes. 
The Goxo intervenes if these quarrel among themselves ; and if 
any one is contumacious or disobedient, he makes war on him and 
takes away his realm and cuts off his head; yet the dignity is not 
taken out of the family, but descends to his next heir. They use 
prayers, alms, pilgrimages, and fasts for the remission of sins of 
the living and the dead many times in the year, eating, when 
they fast, at the same hours that we do. In a mountain in the 
island there are 5000 religious, very rich, with many servants, 
well housed and clothed. They observe chastity so much that no 
woman is allowed to enter the monastery, nor anything female. 
Women after childbirth are fifteen days without any one touching 
them, and do not go to church for forty days. Poor women who 
have many children kill the youngest that they may not grow up 
to suffer poverty, and this is not punished. 

He said also that 1600 years ago or more, the idols were de 
stroyed in the kingdom of Jenico (Chenguinquo), by which you go 
to Japan, passing by China and Tartary, and also in this island, 
by means of the doctrine of Xaqua. When he preached about 
hell, he said that souls were tormented therein by the demons with 
divers torments, the damned being in perpetual flames, and other 
similar pains. He said there was a Purgatory, where the souls 
which have not done sufficient penance in this life for their sins 
arc detained until they are purified, and that in Paradise are the 
angels, who are contemplating the majesty of God. They believe 

Account ofjapan. 215 

that the angels are defenders of men, and for this reason they 
carry with them images of the angels, who, they say, arc spirits 
made of other substance and elements than ours. They use many 
prayers in praise of God, and practise contemplation, especially 
the religious. They assemble round the altar when they chant, 
and they ring bells to assemble the people for the sermons, and 
sacrifices, and other common prayers ; and when any one dies 
they assemble to bury him or to burn him, with many lighted 
candles. All their laws and scriptures and prayers are in a lan 
guage which is not the common tongue, as Latin with us. We 
asked this good man whether they practised sacrifices ; and he 
said that some of the priests, especially the prelate, in certain 
vestments, come into the church, and in presence of the people 
they burn certain scents, like incense aloe-wood sticks, and 
certain odoriferous leaves upon a stone like an altar, chanting 
certain prayers. The churches of this people have the same 
privilege as ours, so that the officers of justice cannot seize or 
take any one from them, save only for theft. They have in their 
temples many images of saints (men and women) painted, of large 
size, with crowns and glory like ours ; and they venerate the saints 
as we venerate ours ; and although they adore one God, Creator of 
all things, yet they pray to the saints to intercede with God for them. 
This nation eats all kinds of food, and does not practise cir 
cumcision ; so that it would appear that the Gospel had been 
preached in the country, and that on account of sins the light of 
faith had been obscured, and that then some heretic like Mahomet 
had taken it away altogether. While I was writing this paper 
there came to me an Armenian Bishop, who has been more than 
forty years in these parts, who said that he had read that the Ar 
menians had preached in China in the beginning of the primitive 
Church. Nevertheless, it would be very well that the light of the 
holy faith and of the doctrine of the Gospel should be once more 
made to shine upon these nations ; and although from Rome to 
Japan there are 8000 leagues of journey, yet to those who love 
God and the salvation of souls all the toils and dangers of the 
world are pleasures. If God will, our Father Master Francis, to 
gether with Paul (the author of this information), and two men of 
Japan who are already Christians, and three others, fathers or 
brothers of our Society, will, if God so please, sail to Japan this 
next April, and in two years your Reverence will have information 
of the good which we may hope to do in that country by the grace of 
Jesus Christ our Lord, Qui est benedictus in sacula saculorum. Amen. 
Cochin, beginning of January 1549. Liiits Deo. 

2 1 6 St. Francis Xavier. 

(2.) Account of Japan by Jotgc Alvarez. 

This notice is contemporaneous with the foregoing. We can 
only find room for an abridged account of it. 

The writer, who appears to be the captain of a ship, begins by 
enumerating the principal ports of Japan, and goes on to give a 
brief account of the country. He describes it as beautiful and 
fertile, abounding in vegetable productions of every kind, these 
being for the most part the same as those indigenous to Portugal. 
The natives obtain three crops every year. They use horses for 
all agricultural purposes, as there are scarcely any oxen to be met 
with ; and indeed very few domestic animals of any kind. Game 
is abundant, and eagerly sought after as an article of food. The 
common people ensnare their prey by means of nets ; the upper 
classes employ falcons, the highest nobles being pejmitted to use 
eagles. Deer are always shot with arrows. Fish of every kind 
abound both in the sea and in the rivers. 

There are hot springs in several places. One stream is re 
markable for being intensly cold at its source, and becoming lower 
down just as hot ; it makes its way through a bed of mud to the 
sea. In this mud the poorer inhabitants scoop hollows, which fill 
with tepid water ; in these they bathe themselves at sunrise and 
sunset. The women have a custom of dipping their heads three 
times under the water, some of which they carry away with them in 
wooden vessels, sprinkling it with their fingers through the streets 
as they return home, and on the floors of their houses, reciting at 
the same time certain words, which, says the writer, I could 
not understand, though I feel certain they were rather a devotional 
exercise than a mere ordinary custom, as not all the women prac 
tised this. 

Japan is frequently visited by earthquakes. It is surrounded 
by numerous volcanic islands of various dimensions, which smoke 
all the year round, and not unfrequently emit fire. Hurricanes are 
of common occurrence at the time of full moon ; but in the month 
of September there always comes one hurricane more furious than 
the rest and of longer duration ; while it prevails, ships are fre 
quently carried a long distance inland. These tempests, however, 
give warning of their approach, being invariably preceded by a 
fine rain, so that the natives are enabled to adopt measures for 
insuring their personal safety. The houses are low and firmly 
built for the sake of security, with straw-thatched roofs fastened 
on by means of large stones. They are divided into rooms and 

Account of Japan. 2 1 7 

anterooms : locks and bolts appear to be unknown. Each house 
is surrounded by an enclosure, which serves the purpose ofa kitchen 
garden ; and every abode is provided with a separate water supply ; 
also with an oven, a loom, a wooden mill for grinding rice, and a 
stone mill for grinding corn. The stock of poultry belonging to 
each family is confined to a single cock and hen. 

The natives are for the most part of middling height, hardy, 
well made and fair complexioned. The nobles wear their beards 
cut short, after the manner of the Moors, the lower orders wear 
ing theirs long ; all appear to shave their cheeks and the crown 
of the head, leaving the hair long behind. They keep their heads 
constantly uncovered, the old men alone wearing, in cold wea 
ther, a silken cap. The men wear an undergarment of flax, 
reaching to the knees, with sleeves as far as the elbows ; the 
lower part of the arm being always bare. Over this shirt is worn 
a sort of jacket, made of unbleached flax and somewhat elabor 
ately adorned with various devices, coloured in white, gray, black, 
and blue, so as to distinguish the wearers. The costume is com 
pleted by pantaloons of ample dimensions, open at the sides and 
fastened in at the waist by a leathern belt ; and in muddy wea 
ther a sort of half boot is added to protect the foot. 

The Japanese seem upon the whole to have made a pleasing 
impression upon our sea captain, to judge from the account he 
now proceeds to furnish us with, and which we will give in his 
own words. This people is very proud, and easily offended : 
all, old and young, use cutlasses and other arms, which they 
are allowed to wear from the age of eight years. They arc al 
most all skilled in the use of arrows, and carry large bows, like 
the English. They protect their bodies by means of coats of 
mail and iron, close fitting, and painted. They are not a covetous 
race, but on the contrary liberal, and very hospitable to strangers, 
with whom they seem eager to make friends, and from whom 
they seek to gain information about other countries, although un 
able to do so to any great extent, owing to their ignorance of the 
proper questions to be asked. They are very particular about 
having their hospitality returned ; those who came on board our 
ships were most anxious to gratify their curiosity in every respect. 
Theft they hold in peculiar abhorrence, even the least dishonesty 
being punished with death : whenever they hear of a thief being 
at large, the chiefs sally forth to hunt him clown, and it is re 
garded as a great honour to be the first to discover and kill him. 

We have next a few details respecting the food of the inha- 

2 1 8 St. Francis Xavicr. 

bitants, and the manner in which it is partaken of. They eat 
three times a day, and always very sparingly, eating but very 
little meat, and never the flesh of any domestic animal. Their 
food appears to consist chiefly of various kinds of grain, as rice, 
millet, and the like ; they seldom, if ever, make bread. Arrack, 
made from rice, is the universal beverage ; but drunkenness is 
apparently unknown, for as soon as any one feels himself getting 
out of his own control, he ceases his potations, and betakes him 
self to sleep. The Japanese eat sitting crosslegged on the ground, 
like the Moors, and use sticks like the Chinese : they eat out of 
earthenware bowls, painted black outside and red within. Cold 
water is never drunk, either in summer or in winter. There are 
many inns in Japan, where travellers can obtain refreshments, 
and pass the night also, should they be so minded. 

No one can have more than one wife ; the women are mar 
ried by their parents, and great is the vexation if any match is 
not approved of by those in authority. Should any wife prove 
idle or faithless, her husband may send her home, if she have 
not already borne him children ; but after she has had children 
he may put her to death at once for either of these faults, with 
out himself incurring any penalty. The result of such stringent 
regulations is that the women jealously guard the honour of their 
husbands, and are willing to live quietly and attend to their houses. 
There are no prisons, as every one is expected to execute justice 
in his own home. The rich men and nobles are allowed to pos 
sess slaves ; but these latter have so much liberty that if they do 
not desire to remain with their master, they have only to inform 
him of their wish, for in this case he is obliged to find them an 
other owner ; or if he fail to do so, they are free to escape from 
him if they can ; if they run away without any warning, they are 
liable to be put to death. The Japanese have a special liking for 
coloured people, Caffres being their chief favourites : to see them 
they travel considerable distances, and they treat them with all 
possible distinction. 

They are much attached to the person of their king, the 
highest nobles considering it an honour to have their sons em 
ployed about the court ; every one is expected to enter the pre 
sence of royalty upon his hands and knees. Even among equals 
guests are received kneeling, the entertainers remaining in their 
humble posture until the new comers are seated. All persons, of 
whatever rank, who chance to meet the King out of doors, remain 
bent double until he has passed, and when persons of the lower 
orders encounter their superiors, they remove their shoes and bow 

Account of Japan. 2 1 9 

down in very lowly guise. They are accustomed to speak al 
most in whispers, and despise us foreigners/ remarks our inform 
ant, on account of our loud talking. They sit round in a circle 
in their houses, even at meal times : they are fond of music, their 
principal instruments being drums and fifes ; they have fixed rules 
of entertainment, but are no lovers of games. They are good 
horsemen, their horses being numerous and small ; the princes 
and nobles have very fine horses, which they breed themselves. 

The abodes of the chiefs are strongholds situated on an iso 
lated hill, always about two leagues distant from the coast. The 
hill made choice of must not be rocky, and must possess a supply 
of water; when the dwellings are erected, the earth excavated to 
form the gangways is used to construct a wall, which encircles the 
whole group of buildings and is raised to a height greater than 
that of any of them, in order that they may be protected from the 
hurricanes. The dwelling of the chief is distinguished by its cen 
tral position and greater height. I myself, says the writer, 
visited the fortress of the king ; it contained nineteen separate 
houses, but no less than forty-seven gates opening into as many 
passages or streets. The enclosure encircling it was composed of 
sandstone ; the walls, of which the width was greater than the 
height, were of solid earth, strengthened by palisades ; the en 
trance into this stronghold is high up and difficult of access, it is 
so narrow that horsemen can only enter in single file. In fact I 
have never seen any fortress, even of stone, which appeared more 
impregnable. The natives have in their houses idols, to which 
they pray as soon as they are up in the morning with their beads 
in their hands ; and at the close of their devotions they pass 
them three times rapidly through their fingers, accompanying this 
action with a threefold prayer for preservation from evil, for 
temporal blessings, and for deliverance from their enemies. Some 
persons, in expiation of some crime committed in early life, or 
through the effect of some great sorrow, take vows of poverty and 
chastity, leaving their wives if they have any, dividing their goods 
between their idols and the poor. The women are comely, with 
fair skins and pleasing manners ; they do all the work of the house, 
as weaving, cooking, and the like. Good wives are held in much 
esteem by their husbands ; indeed they altogether rule them and 
go hither and thither as they list, without ever thinking of asking 
leave of their lords. The women wear a long garment reaching 
from the neck to the feet, fastened in at the waist ; over this they 
wear petticoats, like European women, and like them too they 
much admire long and thick hair, and spend a great deal of time 

22O St. Francis Xavier. 

and care on dressing their heads. They shave the forehead to a 
considerable height, are very flevout, and go constantly to the 
temples to pray and recite their rosaries. 

These Japanese have two kinds of temples. One kind adjoins 
the dwellings of the priests or bonzes, who live in community, each, 
however, having his own cell where he sleeps and studies. They 
all rise in the night and say office together, the oldest reading 
out, the others responding. Towards evening they sound bells, 
which they strike with hammers of iron or copper ; they also use 
gongs, borrowed from the Chinese, as are all the sacred writings 
they possess, and many of their religious rites as well. From time 
to time they say their beads, like the laity. They live on vegetable 
food, and are much thought of both by small and great, so that 
even the king is to a certain extent subject to them. The least 
able members of the community are sometimes sent out to beg in 
the streets and villages, or made to employ themselves in helping 
the aged women who do their housework. Their houses of prayer 
are well kept ; the idols being gilt, and having heads like those 
of the Caffres, with pierced ears like the Malays ; these temples 
are surrounded by trees, and afford sanctuary for a certain number 
of days to every class of criminal, excepting only thieves. Some 
of the idols resemble Christian martyrs and confessors, as St. 
Stephen and St. Lawrence ; they are represented as shaven. 
Round the sides of the temples are arranged cushions, on which 
the bonzes sit to pray ; the central space being appropriated to 
the people who kneel there, men and women together, and invoke 
the martyrs with uplifted hands. 

Then we have farther details concerning these bonzes, which 
we will give in the writer s own words : 

The bonzes are all shaved with razors ; they have rooms 
built at a short distance from their monasteries, where they go 
twice a day to perform their ablutions. They heat the necessary 
water at stoves erected for the purpose, the wood for the fires 
being given them for the love of God. They wear wide shirts like 
those of laymen, and over these a black habit reaching to the feet; 
they have stoles round their necks and wear caps like women, 
and no trousers. They are exceedingly anxious to hear about 
our religion and are much amused with our images, which they 
place on their heads ; they seem to wish to visit our country. 
There are orders of black and gray friars ; all practise community 
of goods. They can read and write Chinese, but not speak it, 
and are thus constrained to carry on communications with the 

Account of "Japan. 221 

Chinese by means of writing, as these latter cannot speak Japanese. 
They celebrate the obsequies of the dead, and also pray for the 
sick in the following manner. All the fathers assemble in the 
temple, where they sit in order, the oldest nearest to the altar, and 
so on, the youngest being in the middle ; they have a large trumpet, 
and after one of the oldest fathers has recited prayers, they blow 
this trumpet, and all respond in unison or in harmony. The 
ceremonies last from daybreak until midday ; during this time food 
is brought to the bonzes by those who have engaged their services 
and who make a point of being present with their relations. 

These orders include women as well as men ; the women live 
in houses apart and take vows of chastity, any breach of which 
is severely punished ; they have no peculiar dress. Many mem 
bers of the highest families enter these orders, some married 
women even leaving their husbands in order to do so. 

There is also another order for men ; they have different and 
smaller idols, which are shut up in tabernacles and only brought 
out on festivals. These idols are kept in houses built in groves 
at some distance from any habitation, and arc regarded with much 
veneration. The priests who serve these temples dress like the 
laity, and carry arms ; on their heads they wear square caps, re 
minding one of the sail of a ship, and a small cape reaching be 
low the beard. They are much given to witchcraft, and wear 
their beads round their necks, by which mark they may be known : 
they admit women to play a part in their worship, but are none 
the less obliged to observe strict chastity. They have no connec 
tion with the other sort of bonzes, but resemble them in possessing 
no sacred books of their own, and in using the same kind of bells. 

Their manner of conducting funeral obsequies is told as fol 
lows: Four or five fathers repair to the temple, taking with them 
an old woman ; as in the former case, those at whose request 
the ceremonies are performed supply the officiating minister 
with food and wine. One of the priests opens the tabernacle, and 
having taken out a drum, a pair of castanets, a hoop with bells, 
and a woman s gown and coloured scarf, he closes it again. The 
woman proceeds to put on the dress and fasten the scarf around 
her ; then she performs upon the various instruments, singing and 
dancing, while the bonzes join in the chorus for the space of half 
an hour ; at the end of which time they again eat and drink, and 
thus the ceremony ends. I have seen one of these idols ; they are 
ugly and ill made. As far as our discoveries have at present ex 
tended, there appears to be but one language in use throughout 
the countrv. 

222 St. Francis Xavier. 

[We need hardly enter into the many questions which might 
be raised by a comparison of these accounts of Japan, which are 
obviously written in the most perfect good faith, with the present 
state of the country, in many respects, no doubt, greatly different 
from its state in the sixteenth century. The first account, taken 
down from the lips of Han-Siro, afterwards Paul of the holy Faith, 
is clearly the work of a religious of the College at Goa, and may 
be somewhat coloured by the desire which such an enquirer would 
naturally feel to discover as many resemblances to Christianity as 
possible in the religion of the country to which so much attention 
was then drawn within the walls of the College. These resem 
blances extended, in the mind of the writer, not only to external 
rites, but also to many religious doctrines. The merchant, Jorge 
Alvarez, whose name appears in the travels of Mendez Pinto, takes 
a more simply external view of the Japanese than the writer in 
the College. Both of them seem to speak more highly of the 
morals of the Japanese in general than modern travellers would 
speak. A great number of details in each account would be re 
cognized as answering to what is found in the present day by 
readers familiar with late books about Japan, but it would be a 
task beyond our present purpose to attempt to point these out. 
The accounts must be taken as interesting in themselves, because 
they are among the earliest statements concerning Japan which 
can have reached Europe in the sixteenth century, and interesting 
also for our present purpose, because they show us what Francis 
Xavier had heard about this country and its inhabitants before he 
himself landed on its shores.] 



Voyage to Japan and stay at Cagoxima. 

SOME of the biographers of Francis Xavier have introduced 
their account of his labours in Japan by a long description of 
the country, its history and natural characteristics, its popula 
tion, and its political and religious institutions. Japan was as 
much of a new world to their readers as Mexico or Peru to the 
contemporaries of Cortes or Pizarro. In our time, as has been 
already said, Japan has become once more, at least partially, 
open to Europeans, and there is hardly a country in the East 
which has attracted so much attention, or about which so much 
has been written. It is true that the modern accounts of Japan 
and the Japanese are slight, superficial, and partial ; we have 
been told very little that was not known in the seventeenth cen 
tury concerning the country itself, as distinguished from its 
capital and the few ports which the late treaties have opened to 
Western visitors, and the more substantial parts of such know 
ledge as has been laid before us seem rather to have been 
derived from Charlevoix or Kaempfer, than from the personal 
investigations of the writers of our time. We may, however, pre 
sume that enough is generally known about Japan in our day, 
to excuse us from the task of attempting a new description, 
unsatisfactory as such an account must always be, when it is 
not based upon a personal acquaintance with the country. 

The story of the seven weeks voyage between Malacca and 
Cagoxima is told by Francis himself in the first part of a long 
letter which he had an opportunity of sending, with others, to 
the Fathers of the Society at Goa, after he had been between 
two and three months in Japan. The accommodation on board 
the small junk must have been of the most inconvenient kind, 
and though the vessel was of course decked, there were pro- 


226 St. Francis Xavier. 

bably no cabins, no means of shelter, or privacy, or protection 
against sun and sea. The crew was composed of superstitious 
pagans, who might, humanly speaking, at any moment have 
taken it into their heads to throw the Christians overboard, and 
who must have had many temptations to illtreat them. This 
does not seem to have prevented Francis Xavier from remon 
strating with them on their idolatrous practices, though they 
disregarded his words entirely. The physical sufferings of the 
voyage were thus the lightest part of what he had to bear. On 
the other hand, the navigation was prosperous, and the greatest 
danger which the missionaries ran was the risk of delay in some 
port of China, which would have deferred for many months 
their arrival in Japan. 

The following letter (which we must divide, in order to give 
the account of the voyage by itself, before speaking of what 
passed when it was over) must have been written from time to 
time between the Feast of the Assumption on which day St. 
Francis Xavier and his companions reached the harbour of Ca- 
goxima and the beginning of November, when it was dis 
patched to India. It is remarkable for the comparatively large 
space occupied by reflections and exhortations. This shows 
us how much and how practically Francis Xavier was already 
thinking of summoning some of his religious brethren to join 
him in Japan. Indeed it was accompanied by another letter, in 
which three Fathers were actually summoned thither. We also 
see how interior perfection was the one quality which he de 
sired above all others in his assistants, and how anxious he was 
to lose no opportunity of doing what was in his power to form 
in them the true apostolical spirit. The letter is spoken of by 
himself as a letter on the interior feelings of the mind, and he 
desires it to be sent round and read in all the missions of the 
Society in India. It must therefore be considered as an exhort 
ation as well as a narrative. 

Account of the Voyage. 227 

(LXXIX.) To the Society at Goa. 

May the grace and charity of Christ our Lord always help 
and favour us ! 

I wrote to you at great length from Malacca about our voy 
age thither after we left India, and about all that happened 
there as long as we remained. Now for the rest. We arrived 
in Japan, by the favouring help of Almighty God, on August 
the 1 5th, having set out from Malacca on the Feast of St. John 
Baptist at evening. We sailed on board the ship of a heathen 
merchant, a Chinaman, who promised the Commandant at 
Vlalacca that he would carry us to Japan. By the goodness of 
od we had very favourable winds. However, as perfidy so 
often rules barbarians like him, our captain at one time changed 
lis intention, and began to give up keeping to his course to 
wards Japan, and loiter about the islands that came in the way, 
"or the sake of wasting time. 

There were two things in this which we found especially 
hard to bear. The first was that God had given a most favour 
able wind, and yet we were not using it, whereas if it failed, 
we should not have been able to hold on our course to Japan, 
but should have been obliged to winter on the coast of China, 
and, of necessity, wait over again for a favourable season and 
state of weather. The other was that the captain and sailors 
were always, against our will and in spite of all our efforts to 
prevent them, offering abominable worship to an idol which 
they had with them on the poop, and consulting the devil from 
time to time, whether it would be advantageous or not to sail 
to Japan ? They would also ask him whether we should be 
able to hold on our course with favourable weather? and as 
they told us, the result of the lots was at one time good, at 
another unfavourable. 

When we had sailed three hundred miles, we put in to a 
certain island, and there made ready our rigging and equip 
ment for the very severe storms of the Chinese sea. Thereupon 
our sailors offered many superstitious sacrifices to the idol, and 

228 St. Francis Xavier. 

fell again to casting lots, asking the devil whether we should 
have good winds ? By chance the lot so fell as to promise us 
a very favourable wind, so that we were not to stay any longer 
where we were. So without delay we heaved up our anchor 
and set sail in high spirits ; they relying on their idol, which 
they worshipped with great devotion, burning candles and sticks 
of aloe-wood on the poop ; and we trusting in the God Who 
rules heaven and earth and sea, and in Jesus Christ His Son, 
for the sake of propagating Whose religion we were on our way 
to Japan. But while we were thus on our way, these pagans 
took it into their heads to ask the devil whether their ship 
would return safely to Malacca from Japan ? The lots declared 
that she would reach Japan, but would not return to Malacca. 
Hereupon the pagans came to a stand, and at last made up 
their minds to give up for the present the voyage to Japan, to 
winter in China, and to put off going to Japan till the next 
year. What do you imagine we thought and felt during that 
part of the voyage, while the devil was being consulted by his 
own worshippers as to our voyage to Japan, and the captain 
of the ship managed the whole business just as the devil willed 
and chose ? Well, as we were sailing on slowly, on a single day 
and night, off a port in Cochin China, belonging to the Chinese, 1 
two very serious things happened to us. 

It was the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene about vesper time, 
and as the sea was swelling, and the water became rougher on 
account of the wind, the ship being anchored off a shoal, Em 
manuel the Chinese, one of our companions, fell head foremost, 
as the vessel rolled, into the sink of the ship, which was open. 
We all thought he was killed, for he had fallen from a great 
height, and the sink was full of water. However, by the good 
ness of God he escaped death. He stuck some time in the 
pump, with his head downwards, and up to his middle in water, 
and at last with great difficulty and exertion we got him out, 
badly wounded on the head. He lay a long time without 
coming to himself, but by God s great mercy he was at length 
restored to health. Just as we had begun to attend to his cure, 
1 Probably Touron: Leon Pages, t. ii. p. 142. 

Account of the Voyage. 229 

there comes another roll of the ship, and the daughter of the 
captain was cast overboard into the sea. The violence of the 
storm was so great that our efforts to help her were all in vain, 
and she sank in the waves in the sight of her father and of all of 
us, close to the ship. There was so much wailing and groaning 
.all that day and the night which followed, that everything seemed 
very mournful and miserable, whether from the grief of the bar 
barians, or the danger in which we were. For the pagans turned 
.at once to appeasing their idol with sacrifices and ceremonies ; 
they spent the whole day and night, without taking any rest, in 
killing birds and placing dishes before the idol. And when the 
captain asked why it was that his daughter had perished ? the 
lots told him that if our friend Emmanuel had been killed in the 
sink, his girl would not have come to harm. You see what great 
danger we were in, as our life depended on the answer given by 
the devil and on the will of his servants. 

What would have become of us, if God had permitted that 
most bitter enemy of ours to deal with us according to his own 
desires ? For my part, when I saw such great and open insults 
offered to Christ our Lord by those abominable rites, and yet 
could in no way hinder them, I prayed many times to God, that 
before we were lost in that tempest, He would deliver those 
men whom He had created in His own image from their very 
great and impious errors, or, if He was to permit them to remain 
in these same errors, at least that He would allot very severe 
torments to the common enemy of man who was the author of 
all those superstitions, every time that he incited the captain to 
consult him by lots or to worship him as God. 

On the same day on which these troubles happened and during 
the night which followed, it befell me, by the good gift of God, 
to feel and experience a great many things concerning the very 
.great frights which the devil, when by God s permission he has 
the power given him, is wont to inflict upon timid men exposed 
to danger, as well as concerning the means of defence which 
we ought to use in such a case and at such a time against the 
assaults of the enemy. It would not be at all useless for you to 
know them, but for brevity s sake I pass them by. The sum of 

230 Sf. Francis Xavier. 

it all, and the most certain safeguard, is this, to have the greatest i 
presence of mind and courage against the enemy, utterly dis- j 
trusting yourself, and entirely relying upon God, so as to have 
all your strength and all your hopes placed in Him, and by no 
means in the world to allow yourself to seem to fear or to doubt 
of your victory, with a patron such as He is and One so great j 
for your defender. It very often came into my mind that if I 
God had really increased at my prayer the punishment and pain 
of the devil, then it was very likely that the latter might vent] 
his rage and hate upon me, for he very often threatened me ] 
and gave me to understand that the time was come when he 
would avenge on me the increase of his pain. 

But the devil can never hurt any one at all, except as far 
as God Himself permits it : so that at such times we ought 
much rather to fear having any distrust in God, than to fear the 
assaults of our enemy. For God does permit our foe to harass 
and vex those who are led by their own timidity not to trust in 
their Creator, who do not seek for strength in Him, and do not 
place their hopes on Him. This plague of timidity makes many 
men who have begun to serve God lead a sad and anxious life, 
in that they bear the sweet yoke and cross of Christ and yet 
do not advance bravely and constantly. Timidity causes us 
this evil, a very great, a very fatal and mischievous evil that 
having begun to lean only on your own weakness, when there 
is need for far greater strength and for resources such as God 
alone can give, your courage fails in difficult matters, so that 
you do not make good use of the help of Heaven, which in 
vites you to have a good hope of victory. On the other hand, 
presumptuous men, who are led by their selfconfidence to rely 
more than is right on their own strength, and who despise lesser 
conflicts with temptation, although they have never trained 
themselves in these to victory, these are even more weak 
than timid men when great dangers and sorrows beset them. 
For their undertakings have turned out in a way so entirely 
contrary to their expectations that they lose all heart and are 
dejected in small matters as well as in great. So that they go 
into conflicts of this kind with so much repugnance and so 

Confidence in God 23 i 

much fear, as to run a great risk of their salvation, or at all 
events of losing all tranquillity. For they do not acknowledge 
their own weakness, and thus they consider the cross of Christ 
too heavy to be borne, and their life must of necessity be anxious 
and bitter. 

For how can we expect it to be with us, dearest brothers, 
at our last moments, unless we have practised ourselves in 
having a good hope and in confidence in God during our lives? 
At that time we shall certainly find ourselves surrounded by far 
greater dangers, temptations, and sufferings both of mind arid 
body than ever before. For this reason it is right that those 
who have a desire to serve God should take great pains in little 
matters, and lower themselves and empty themselves as much 
as possible, so that they may have an utter distrust of them 
selves, and an immense trust in God, and thus they may become 
accustomed, when great dangers of life or death or great trials 
present themselves, to have great hope in the goodness and 
mercy of God. And this they will gain, if they conquer them 
selves in things, however little they may be, to which they have 
an aversion, and if they devote themselves altogether to the 
study of Christian humility, and so are entirely free from self- 
confidence, while they raise up their hearts to placing the very 
highest confidence in God. 

For in truth no man is really timid and weak who knowingly 
leans upon the assistance of God. However many may be the 
hindrances to perseverance and perfection of virtue which the 
enemy of us all may place in your path, yet after all you will 
run a far greater risk in great difficulties and troubles if you dis 
trust the aid of God, than if you confront the perils which our 
deadly foe raises against you. Would that pious men, in the 
place of those fears and terrors which the devil uses in endea 
vouring to deter them from the service of God, would substi 
tute the fear they ought to feel of God their Creator in case 
they should chance to give up what they have begun for Him. 
Would that they would once for all make up their minds that it 
will be far worse for them to neglect the will of our Divine Master 
than to brave what is in truth the impotence of the devil ! O good 

232 St. Francis Xavier. 

God ! if they would do this, how full of sweetness would their life 
be, and what progress would they make in virtue, taught by their 
own experience the knowledge that of themselves they can do 
nothing, but on the other hand that they can do all things with 
God to help them ! And how, too, would our foe be broken 
down and perplexed, seeing himself conquered by those whom 
he more than once before had overcome ! 

But now to return to our voyage. As soon as the tempest 
had relented, we raised anchor and set sail, resuming with many 
tears the course which we had interrupted. In a few days we 
reached a port of China, called Canton, and then the sailors and 
the captain himself thought that they would winter there. We 
opposed their decision, partly by prayers, partly by threats that 
we should complain of their breach of faith to the Commandant 
at Malacca. So God in His goodness put it into their minds 
not to stay longer in the island of Canton, but to weigh anchor 
and sail for Tchin-tcheon. God was also so good as to give us 
a continually favourable wind, and in a few days we drew near 
to this second port on the Chinese coast, Tchin-tcheon. They 
were just about to enter the port with the intention of spend 
ing the winter there, because the season for sailing to Japan 
was nearly past, when on a sudden a boat puts out to us in a 
great hurry, telling us that the harbour is invested by pirates, 
and that it will be all over with us if we come any nearer. This 
bit of news frightened the captain, who moreover saw that the 
brigantines of the pirates were not more than four miles distant 
from us ; and so, to avoid that immediate danger, he determined 
to shun that port. But now the wind was adverse to a return 
to Canton and favourable to sailing to Japan, and so we held 
our course thither against the will of the captain, the sailors, 
and the devil himself. So by the guidance of God we came at 
last to this country, which we had so much longed for, on the 
very day of the Feast of our Blessed Lady s Assumption 1549. 
We could not make another port, and so we put into Ca- 
goxima, which is the native place of Paul of the holy Faith. 
We were most kindly received there both by Paul s relations 
and connections and also by the rest of the people of the place. 

First weeks at Cagoxima. 233 

[Cagoxima, the port at which Francis Xavier and his com 
panions landed, lies on an arm of the sea which deeply indents 
the coast of the southern and most westerly of the islands of 
which Japan is made up. It has not, unfortunately for its in 
habitants, escaped, like so many other of the cities of the 
country, the notice of the foreign visitors of Japan in our own 
time. It chanced that a relative of its ruler, the Prince of 
Satsouma, was the daimio who thought himself insulted by an 
English party in the streets of Yeddo in 1860, and as in the 
fray that ensued an Englishman was murdered, the strange 
logic of international law made it appear necessary that Ca 
goxima should be bombarded and set on fire some months 
after the accident. Its great distance from Meaco, the seat of 
the Dairi s government, made it seem an unfortunate necessity 
for Francis Xavier to land there ; but it is probable that the 
misfortune was in truth a great advantage. Certainly, as Francis 
informs us in his letter, the people and the prince alike received 
him at first very well. Paul of the holy Faith was welcomed 
by his family and friends; and when he proceeded, some days 
after his landing, to pay his respects to the local prince of Sat 
souma, a few miles off, he was very graciously and kindly re 
ceived. The prince particularly admired a Madonna with the 
Holy Infant, a picture which had been brought from India, 
and which Paul took with him to show at court. The prince s 
mother was charmed with it, and desired to have a copy made 
for herself. Paul talked a great deal with them both of India, 
the power of the Portuguese, and the Christian religion, and 
the princess asked him to let her have the chief heads of his 
new faith in writing. From this time Paul was actively em 
ployed either in translating the Creed and Catechism into 
Japanese, or in spreading the knowledge of the Christian re 
ligion among his own family and friends, a very large number 
of whom he ultimately succeeded in converting. 

Meanwhile, Francis was preparing himself for his arduous 
enterprise very quietly and intently ; practising great humility, 
praying a great deal by day as well as by night, offering up con 
stant austerities to aid his prayers, and learning the elements 

234 Sf. Francis Xavier. 

of the language with all the docility, and far more than the 
patience, of a child. He soon got to know the Commandments 
and Creed in Japanese, and was able to give a short explana 
tion of both. Paul s help was invaluable to him. In this way 
six weeks passed on. When St. Michael s Day came, Francis 
chose it for his first open advance, a visit to the Prince of Sat- 
souma. The Prince received him hononrably, and a few days 
later gave him leave to preach the Christian law, which he 
allowed any of his subjects to embrace if they chose. 

The first step was thus gained; but the public preaching 
was not long to continue unmolested. Francis had, in the 
meanwhile, done his best to secure another advantage. He 
had visited and even cultivated the bonzes. They were the 
teachers of the people, held in extraordinary veneration among 
them notwithstanding the wellknown impurity of their lives, 
and if, as was hardly possible, they could have been gained 
over, or induced to remain tolerant of the new religion, the most 
powerful impediment to its spread would have been removed. 
The letter before us hints at the cause, or rather at some of the 
many causes, on account of which the influence of the bonzes 
was sure to be thrown into the scale against the Christian 
teaching. It was not only that their occupation would be gone 
if the people were converted, but their habitual practice of 
impurity of the most unnatural kind, which they were even 
ready openly to defend, and which by reason of their sanction 
passed as a thing not forbidden by the natural law, was certain 
to steel their hearts against the arguments and evidences ad 
duced in support of the truth. 

It must be remembered, in reading the statements in this 
and other passages of this letter of St. Francis Xavier in which 
he speaks of the bonzes, and generally of the religion of the 
Japanese, that his acquaintance with the details of the forms of 
falsehood against which he had to contend was necessarily im 
perfect and superficial. The writers of the century following 
the time of his preaching tell us many details about the reli 
gious state of the country of which he could hardly have been 
aware. He looked upon it from outside, as a foreign Catholic 

First weeks at Cagoxima. 235 

looks, for example, upon the Protestantism of Great Britain or 
Germany, with no intimate knowledge even of the nomencla 
ture of the various sects into which the heterogeneous mass is 
really divided, and much less with any idea of the immense 
variety of forms of opinion and practice which exist side by 
side in any Christian country which has renounced unity and 
thrown aside dogma and Catholic tradition. Such a man would 
see no difference between a Ritualist and a Plymouth brother, 
he would imagine that the influence of Oxford and Cambridge 
would be paramount in the Free Kirk of Scotland and among 
the Welsh Methodists, and might suppose the Wesleyan meet 
ing houses which he might see by the roadside to be under the 
jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In reality, of 
course, no latitude of syncretism which prevails among Christians 
can be like that which, in a country like Japan, would mingle 
into a whole, the incoherence of which would not at once be 
detected from without, the old native paganism of the worship 
of the Kamis, with the more splendid, and in many respects 
less corrupt, superstitions of Buddhism, with the doctrine of 
Confucius, imported from China, and with the other elements 
of which the popular religion was made up. It is most pro 
bable that the people themselves knew but little of the theo 
retical and doctrinal differences between the various religions 
which invited their devotion and imposed on their credulity. 

The reason for these remarks will be obvious to any one 
who has made himself acquainted with the accounts of the 
several religions of Japan given by the later authors already 
named. The description given by Francis Xavier of the old 
bonze called Ningh-sit with whom he had so much conversa 
tion, as it seems, with Paul for his interpreter, would seem to 
point to a member of the Buddhist hierarchy. Yet this same 
old man is said to have been doubtful about the immortality of 
the soul ; a statement which would naturally imply that he was 
an official of the Sintos, that is of the adherents of the older pa 
ganism of the Kamis, which seems to have been the indigenous 
religion of the race. But there were originally no priests, properly 
so called, in the religion of the Kamis. The shrines were 

236 St. Francis Xavier. 

attended by secular persons, who wore a particular dress when 
occupied in religious rites, and who held aloof from the common 
people at all times, as possessing themselves something of a 
sacred character. Thus what bore the appearance of a priest 
hood was developed, even in the religion of the Kamis, though 
the bonzes were properly Buddhist ecclesiastics. In the same 
way, the religion of the Kamis came to have, what it had not 
originally, its external pomp of worship, processions, litanies, 
offerings, and images supposed to be miraculous. The funda 
mental idea of Buddhism required these things quite as little 
as that of the earlier of the Eastern religions. They grew up 
around it because they are, in reality, the expression of the 
natural instincts of humanity in presence of what it supposes to 
be divine truth and power. The monastic and religious system, 
again, is more congenial to Buddhism than to the Kami reli 
gion : and yet we find among the latter both religious men and 
religious women, the Kanousis and the Bikunis. It is therefore 
hardly worth while to inquire whether the Ningh-sit mentioned 
in the letter before us were really a Buddhist bonze, or a 
Sintoist In the former case, we should have to suppose what is 
so often found among the official adherents of a false and imper 
fect religion, that is, that scepticism as to one of the fundamental 
doctrines of his own creed had invaded his mind. Indeed, it 
is remarkable all through the slight but very significant and 
interesting accounts which have come down to us of the dis 
putes waged by Francis Xavier with the bonzes and learned 
men of Japan, that the question so often turned, not upon what 
may be called the more positive and distinctive parts of the 
Christian faith, the Incarnation, the Atonement, and the like, 
but upon matters which touch the natural law, the doctrines of 
natural religion, the Providence and the justice of God. 

After these general remarks on the false religions with which 
Francis Xavier was now confronted as the Apostle of Chris 
tianity, we may continue the letter of which a part has already 
been given.] 

The yapanese. 237 

(LXXIX.) Continued. 

We shall write to you about Japan just as far as we get ac 
quainted with it, and what we ourselves have learnt. In the first 
place, the nation with which we have had to do here surpasses 
in goodness any of the nations lately discovered. I really think 
that among barbarous nations there can be none that has more 
natural goodness than the Japanese. They are of a kindly dis 
position, not at all given to cheating, wonderfully desirous of 
honour and rank. Honour with them is placed above every 
thing else. There are a great many poor among them, but 
poverty is not a disgrace to any one. There is one thing among 
them of which I hardly know whether it is practised anywhere 
among Christians. The nobles, however poor they may be, re 
ceive the same honour from the rest as if they were rich ; nor 
can any noble, however poor and needy, be induced to con 
tract marriage with even the richest plebeian. They think that 
by coming down to ally themselves with plebeians they lose 
a great deal of dignity and estimation, and thus it is that they 
despise riches in comparison with dignity. They have a great 
many observances of courtesy among themselves. They are 
very fond of arms and weapons, and rely upon them very much. 
The highest and lowest alike always wear their swords and 
daggers even boys of fourteen years of age. They never bear 
an insult either in word or deed. 

The common people pay very great respect to the nobles, 
and these in their turn think it a great honour to themselves to 
wait on the Kings and Princes and obey their word. They seem 
to me to do this rather from their desire of honour than out 
of fear, lest by not behaving thus they should lose anything of 
their own dignity. They are sparing and frugal in eating, but 
not in drink. The wine they drink is made of rice, for here 
there is no other. They abhor dice and gaming as things 
highly disgraceful, because gamesters are greedy of other men s 
goods, and their desire of gain leads them on to the desire of 
stealing. They seldom swear, but when they do, they swear 

238 St. Francis Xavier. 

by the sun. Most of them can read, and this is a great help 
to them for the easy understanding of our usual prayers and 
the chief points of our holy religion. They have not more than 
one wife. There are few thieves among them, and this is on 
account of the severity of the punishments inflicted for theft, 
as all thieves are put to death. So there is no kind of theft 
which they do not hate in a remarkable degree. They are 
wonderfully inclined to all that is good and honest, and have 
an extreme eagerness to learn. 

They listen with great avidity to discourse about God and 
Divine things, especially when they can well understand what 
you say. Of all nations I have ever seen I cannot remember 
ver to have found any, either Christian or heathen, so averse 
to theft. They do not worship any gods under the form of 
beasts. Most of them venerate certain ancient men, who, as 
far as I have been able to ascertain, used to live after the 
fashion of the old philosophers ; most of them worship the sun, 
some the moon. They listen willingly to things consonant to 
nature and reason ; and although they are not themselves free 
from crimes and wicked practices, yet, if you show them that 
their sin is contrary to reason, they readiiy acknowledge its 
guilt and obey the law of reason. 

I find the common secular people here less impure and 
more obedient to reason than their priests, whom they call 
bonzes. These men are so given up to the most abominable 
kind of lust as to make open profession of it. This plague is 
indeed so common to all here, men and women alike, that the 
mere custom of it has taken away all their hatred and horror of 
the crime. We often speak against this detestable form of 
wickedness, and when we show them how wicked and how 
hateful to God the people are who commit such great impuri 
ties, we find that others listen to us with favour and are well 
disposed, but the bonzes themselves, when we admonish them 
to abstain from such filthy lusts, try to turn the edge of what 
we object to in them by laughter and jokes. However severely 
we reprehend them, they are utterly hardened to all shame, as if 
their turpitude had gone so far that they no longer feel it at all. 

The Japanese. 239 

There is a sect of these bonzes who have a dress externally 
not very unlike our own monks. They wear a habit of an 
ashen colour, with their heads and beards always shaven it 
seems as if they were shaven every third or fourth day. Their 
discipline and rule of life are very lax. There are communities 
of women of the same sect, with whom they live promiscuously ; 
so they have a bad name among the people, who do not ap 
prove of their great intercourse with the women. They say that 
when these women find themselves with child, they use medi 
cines to procure abortion. And, as far as I can judge from 
the community which is here, I do not think the people have 
too bad an opinion of them. These bonzes hate and are at 
variance with some others, who dress rather like the clergy 
among ourselves. 5 

5 The following passage from Kaempfer (History of Japan ap. Pinker- 
ton, Voyages, &c., t. vii. p. 788) will perhaps explain this passage on the 
bonzes and religious women here spoken of : 

Multitudes of beggars crowd the roads to all parts of the empire, but 
particularly on the so much frequented Tokaido. [The Tokaido, or royal 
road from Nagasaki to Yeddo, was made by the famous Taicosama, the 
persecutor of Christianity, many years after the time of Francis Xavier. ] 
Among them are many lusty young fellows, who shave their heads. This 
custom of shaving the head hath been originally introduced by Sotoktais, 
a zealous propagator of the Fotoge, or doctrine of the foreign pagan wor 
ship [by this, Kaempfer means Buddhism], and was kept up ever since. 
For being vigorously opposed in the propagation of his doctrine by one 
Moria, he commanded all that had embraced his worship to shave part 
of their heads, to be thereby distinguished from the adherents of Moria ; 
and he likewise ordered that their male children should have their whole 
head shaved, after the manner of their priests, and by virtue of this solely 
enjoy the privilege of begging. 

To this shaved begging tribe belongs a certain remarkable religious 
order of young girls called 15ikuni, which is to say as much as nuns. They 
live under the protection of the nunneries at Kamakura and Meaco, to 
whom they pay a certain sum a year, which they get by begging, as an 
acknowledgment of their authority. Some pay besides a sort of tribute or 
contribution to the Khumano temples at Lsja. Their chief abode is in the 
neighbourhood of Khumano, from whence they are called Khumano no 
JJikuni, of the nuns of Khumano, for distinction s sake from other religious 
nuns. They are, in my opinion, by much the handsomest girls we saw in 
Japan. The daughters of poor parents, if they be handsome and agreeable, 
iipply for and easily obtain this privilege of begging in the habit of nuns, 
knowing that beauty is one of the most persuasive inducements to travel 
lers to let them feel the effects of their generosity. The jammabos, or 

240 St. Francis Xavier. 

There are two things here which altogether astonish me. 
One is, that the most abominable sins are thought nothing of 
and this has come about by the fault of their ancestors, who 
were corrupted by this plague of impurity themselves, and have 
left to their posterity the example of such foul lust. And it is 
very true that the daily habit of vice of this kind quite depraves 

begging mountain priests . . . frequently incorporate their own daughters 
into this religious order, and take their wives from among these bikunis. 

Kaempfer goes on to speak of the manners_of these bikunis as not want 
ing in external modesty, though he says that they are free with any tra 
veller who encourages them, and that they are really neither poor nor vir 
tuous. Then he goes on to speak of the mountain priests. They have 
their head, or general of their order, residing at Meaco, to whom they are 
obliged to pay a certain sum of money every year, and in return obtain from 
him a higher dignity, with some additional ornament whereby they are 
known among themselves. They commonly live in the neighbourhood of 
some famous Kami temple,, and accost travellers in the name of the Kami 
which is worshipped there, making a short discourse of his holiness and 
miracles, with a loud coarse voice : meanwhile, to make the noise still 
louder, they rattle their long staffs, loaded at the upper end with iron rings, 
to take up the charity money which is given them ; and last of all they blow 
a trumpet made of a large shell. ... In some places they accost travellers 
in company with a troop of Bikunis, and with their rattling, singing, trum 
peting, chattering, and crying, make such a horrid frightful noise, as would 
make one mad or deaf. 

If modern travellers are to be trusted, the Japanese are no longer so 
truthful and so averse to cheating as Francis Xavier states them to be. 
But they may naturally feel on the defensive with foreigners who force 
themselves upon them, as has been the case of late years. The other state 
ments in the text, as to the practice of abortion, and the rivalries and feuds 
between different religious communities, are abundantly confirmed by other 
writers. Taicosama (Fide-Yosi) interfered by force to put an end to the 
rivalries spoken of. 

Each one of the thousand divinities of the Buddhist mythology, says 
M. Humbert, had made room for itself in Japan, and had its temples, its- 
statues, its monastic confraternities. Bonzes, religious men, nuns, abounded 
throughout the empire, principally in the centre and southern part of Nip 
pon. Each convent vied with its neighbour in industrious arts to obtain 
the greatest following. But gradually the rivalry became so outrageous, 
that jealousy, bitterness, hatred, poisoned the mutual relations of certain 
powerful and ambitious orders. Invectives were followed by acts. The 
imperial police threw itself across the first encounters of tonsured heads ; 
but it was soon unable to oppose a barrier to the torrent. Bands of furious 
monks, in frocks and cassocks, armed with sticks, pikes, and flails, rushed 
at night on the property of the confraternity which gave them umbrage, 
ravaging all that they came across, ill-treating, killing or dispersing the 

Intercourse with the Bonzes. 241 

human nature, just as continued carelessness and sloth in the 
practice of virtue gradually undermine all pursuit of perfec 
tion of life. The other thing is, that though the bonzes lead 
more depraved lives than the rest, and though all know this, 
they are still held in so much honour by them. The bonzes 
have besides many other errors ; but that I may not detain you 
about them, I may say that the more learned any one among 
them is, the more shamefully does he err. 

I have often conversed with some of them who are more 
learned than the rest, and especially with the bonze who in this 
place is respected and honoured by all, both on account of his 
reputation for learning and high place in their priesthood, and 
also on account of his great age, for he is already eighty. He 
is a sort of bishop among them, and is called Ningh-sit, which 
in the Japanese language means Heart of Truth. Happy man, 
if the name really fitted him ! I have had many talks with him, 
and have found him uncertain and doubtful whether our soul 
be immortal, or whether it perishes at the same time as the 
body ; and he was not consistent with himself, at one time 
affirming this, and at another denying it. I am very much afraid 
that the rest of these men of letters are much like him. You 
would hardly believe how singularly fond he is of me ; and in 
deed both the bonzes and all the others are delighted with our 
company. What they wonder at above all is that we have 
come the whole way from Portugal to Japan, a voyage of more 
than six thousand leagues, for no other purpose than to deal 
with them about divine things, to set forth the Christian faith, 
and show them in their errors the way of eternal salvation. 
They all declare that it must have been God Himself Who 
gave us this mind. 

One thing which I very much wish you to know, in order 

conventual victims of their attack, and retiring only after having set fire to 
the four comers of the "bonzery." Sooner or later, however, the aggressors 
were assailed in their turn at unawares, and underwent the same treatment. 
Six times in the course of the twelfth century the monks of the convent on 
the Ye isan burnt the bonzery of Djensjosi : twice the monks of this latter 
reduced to cinders the convent of the Yeisan, &c. &c. Jafon Illustrf, t. i. 
p. zy6. 


242 St. Francis Xavier. 

that you may give great thanks to God is, that this island is well 
fitted and prepared to receive the Gospel. If we all knew the 
language, I do not doubt but that a great many Japanese would 
become Christians. God grant that we may soon acquire it 
well ! as we have already for some time begun to understand it. 
In these six weeks, by God s favour, we have got so far that 
we already give explanations in Japanese of the Ten Command 
ments. Now my chief reason for writing all this so fully to 
you is, that you may rejoice and give thanks to God our Lord, 
for that new regions are thus laid open, in which your own in 
dustry may some day find a large field for exertion, and that 
you may in the mean while furnish yourselves with solid virtues 
and a great desire of suffering many things for Christ. And 
what I could wish to sink deep into your hearts and always re 
main there is this, that a ready and entire will to practise 
humility and lowliness, a will by which you devote yourself and 
your life to the glory of God, is a sacrifice more pleasing and 
acceptable to Him than even a great number of very important 
services rendered without a will of that kind. 

Do you therefore be ready, for perhaps in less than two 
years I shall write and summon many of you to Japan. In the 
mean while meditate upon and cultivate humility with all 
diligence ; conquer yourselves in all those things from which 
our depraved nature shrinks; and make it your constant work 
by God s grace to know yourselves thoroughly. Self-knowledge 
is the nurse of confidence in God, and the motive of Christian 
humility. It is from distrust of ourselves that confidence in 
God is born, true and genuine confidence. This will be the 
way for you to gain that true interior lowliness of mind, which 
in all places, and especially here, is far more necessary than 
you think. I warn you also not to let the good opinion which 
men have of you be too much of a pleasure to you, unless per 
haps in order that you may be the more ashamed of yourselves 
on that account. It is that which leads people to neglect them 
selves, and this negligence in many cases upsets as by a kind 
of trick all that lowliness of which I speak, and puts arrogance 
m its place. And thus so many do not see for a long time how 

Confidence in God. 243 

much they have lost, and gradually lose all care for piety 
.and all tranquillity of mind, and thus are always troubled and 
anxious, finding no comfort either from without or within them 

I do therefore pray and beseech you to cast away all con 
fidence in your own powers, in human wisdom and reputation, 
and keep all your hopes and thoughts continually fixed on God 
alone. If you do this, then I shall consider that you are suffi 
ciently armed and prepared against all the troubles which may 
beset you either in the mind or in body. For God lifts up and 
strengthens the humble, those especially who in the practice of 
even humble and abject offices keep their eyes, as on a mirror, 
on their own weakness, and conquer themselves nobly in such 
practices. These are the persons who in the greatest labours 
and sufferings will show virtue and constancy, and neither Satan 
and his ministers, nor the storms of the sea, nor savage and 
barbarous nations, nor anything else, will be able to separate 
them from the love of Christ. 4 

For they know for certain, from their confidence and hope 
in God, that nothing can ever have power to hurt them without 
His permission, that all things are ruled and governed by God s 
decree and counsel ; they are shielded by the guardianship of 
God, and there is nothing that they can fear, save this one thing 
alone, lest they may offend Him. If sometimes it be that by 
the permission of their heavenly Lord they are harassed and 
vexed by the devil or by men, or by anything else, then they feel 
sure that their virtue is being put to the proof, or their vices or 
faults are being punished and expiated, and that thus they are 
either gaining an increase of merit or of humility. And so they 
give God all due thanks for these great benefits, and, that they 
may not be wanting in gratitude to those who furnish them with 
matter for the exercise of virtue and for gaining reward, they 
pray with all their hearts to God for peace and pardon for them. 
Such as these I trust you, by God s help, will become. 

For my part, I know a man who, when he had got the habit 
of placing all his hope and confidence in God, even in the very 

4 Latin, Potent eos scfararc a caritate Christ!. 1 Rom. viii. 39. 

244 $/. F ^ncis Xavier. 

midst of dangers, was in a wonderful way laden with heavenly 
gifts, which it would be long to give an account of. And as we 
must suppose that the trials already passed are lighter than those 
which are to come upon us, I pray and adjure by Jesus Christ 
those who are hereafter to come to Japan, that they prepare 
themselves for the hardest things, and break down and tame 
their own desires, which are the hindrances to such great good. 
Take heed to yourselves, dearest brothers, for there are many 
now tormented in hell, who after having by their discourses 
opened the way to heavenly bliss to many, yet have themselves 
at last come to those eternal punishments, because they have 
been inflated by the false and deceitful idea of their own ex 
cellence, and so have wanted this humility of heart. But there 
is no one at all in hell of the number of those, who, when afflicted 
by the sufferings of this life, have made it their business to fortify 
their souls with that interior humility of which I speak. 

Always keep in mind that saying of our heavenly Master 
What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but suf 
fer loss of his own soul ? i;i Take heed lest you have any confid 
ence in yourselves, and because you are older than others in 
the Society, therefore prefer yourselves to those who have come 
later. I should feel much greater joy of heart if (as I hope 
may be the case) I should hear that any elder one among ours 
was very often thinking within himself how little progress he had 
made, after spending so many years in the Society ; how much 
time he has lost, not only in remaining still but even in going 
back since in the way of perfection not to make progress is to 
recede. Those who dwell on such thoughts are sure to feel 
ashamed and to reproach themselves with their indolence and 
sinfulness, and so, roused up by the spirit rather of interior than 
of exterior humiliation, gain courage and strength to make up 
for their losses. And so they become examples to those with 
whom they live, both novices and the rest. 

Come therefore, practise yourselves, all of you, assiduously 

5 Orig. Latin, Quid frodest honriiri si itnivcrsum mitnditm lucretnr 
aniiiuc vcro SHOT detrimentnm patiatur ? Matt. xvi. 29. 

6 Orig. Latin, In z-ia pcrfcctionis non progrcdi rcgredi cst. 

Temptations. 245 

in these meditations, when you feel the desire of being con 
spicuous soldiers in the armies of Christ our Lord. And believe 
me, that those who may come here will have their virtue well 
tried, and whatever extreme diligence you may have used in 
acquiring virtue of any kind, you will find none that you have 
not use for. I do not mean by all this to make out that it is 
difficult and arduous to serve God, for we know that His yoke 
is easy and sweet. For if you seek God in truth, 7 and enter 
vigorously the path which leads to Him, you will certainly find 
so much delight proceed from His service, as will easily mitigate 
and soften whatever sharpness or bitterness there is in conquer 
ing yourself. O good God ! men do not understand what great 
and pure pleasure they forfeit because they do not resist vigor 
ously enough the assaults of the devil a thing which deprives 
our poor weak hearts not only of acquaintance with all the 
goodness of God, but also of the consolations of this miserable 
life especially when such a life, without any of the sweetness 
which comes from God, is continual death rather than life. 

I fear that the devil should beset some of you, putting be 
fore you certain very great and wonderful exploits which you 
may achieve for the service of God in other places and occu 
pations. What would he do, I wonder, if he got you into a 
position more open to his assaults ? All his plans have this 
aim, to make you solicitous and anxious, so as to be no good 
either to yourselves or to others among whom you work. And 
so he whispers to you : What are you doing ? Do you not 
see that in your attempts here you are spending your work in 
vain? This is a thought which tempts most of those who have 
given themselves to the service of God, and I urgently pray you 
over and over again to resist it bravely and constantly, for in 
truth this evil is so pernicious to piety and perfection in virtue, 
that it makes us not only run slowly in the course which we 
have begun, but also proceed as far as we do with great trouble 
and anguish of mind. So let each one of you, wherever he 
may be, study to help first himself and then others in this, and 
let him make up his mind that he can nowhere do more service- 

7 Orig. Latin, Si qiucras Dcnin in -. critatc. 

246 St. Francis Xa-vier. 

able work for God than in the place which has been assigned 
him by his Superiors. And at the same time trust, that when 
the fit time comes, God will put it into the minds of those who 
govern you to send you to that particular place above all others 
where your work will be most fruitful. In this way you will be 
happy and ready, and make great progress in virtue, and spend 
all your time well ; and time is a thing the value of which is 
very great indeed though many do not know it since of all 
our idle time so accurate an account has to be given to God. 
But men who are anxious and uncertain in mind neither make 
any progress where they wish to be, because they are not there, 
nor, where they are, do they do good to themselves or others,, 
because their thoughts are elsewhere. 

I would have all of you that are living in the College of 
Santa Fe exercise yourselves long and much in the knowledge of 
your own weakness, and fully open your faults to men who can 
help you by counsel and other assistance, such as your confes 
sors, and other men of experience in the community. The rea 
son for this is, that when you are sent to these parts you may 
be able to take care of yourselves and of others, by means of 
the experience and knowledge which you have gained from 
those who guide your lives. You may assure yourselves that 
you will be attacked by new kinds of temptation when you are 
sent out in pairs or even singly, and find yourselves by sea or 
by land surrounded by danger from storms or from savage men, 
dangers of which you have before never even thought. So 
that if there be any who have not much and for long practised 
themselves in taming the evil motions of their hearts and in 
making themselves acquainted with the snares of our most 
crafty enemy, I leave to their own judgments to consider how 
great the danger will be in which they will find themselves when 
they are confronting and attacking the world which lies all in 
darkness and iniquity. 8 And who will be able to escape the 
assaults of the enemy except those who have made much way 
in humility ? 

There is also another anxiety which worries me, namely, 
Latin, Qui totus positus cst in maligno. i John v. 19. 

Security in Religion. 247 

lest the devil, transforming himself into an angel of light, 9 
should deceive some of you by his tricks, setting before your 
mind the great obligations to God under which you live, and 
all the miseries out of which He has delivered you by calling 
you into the Society of His Son, and so lead you into a. vain 
confidence and security, so that you ask to be sent out here 
before the time, reasoning with yourselves in this manner, that 
if already in so short a space of time God has bestowed on you 
at Goa so many great benefits, He will certainly give you many 
more and much greater when you are sent out hither for the 
conversion of the heathen. And when the devil has cast this 
thought into your minds, he may easily persuade you that you 
are doing nothing where you are. 

But this attack of the enemy may be repelled in two ways. 
First, if you consider that there are many wicked men who, if 
they were to wash off the filth, so to speak, of their former life, 
and were to be placed in that same school of virtue in which 
you are, would not only change their manner of living, but 
would also, to your very great shame, surpass you in virtue and 
diligence. I say this to put you in mind of what is the truth, 
that is, that the reason why you abstain from more serious faults 
is that where you are there are no occasions of offending God, 
and many of enjoying Him. Persons who do not know whence 
this very great blessing proceeds are apt to attribute it to their 
own virtue, and so neglect things that seem small while they 
are in themselves great, while the persons who despise them so 
foolishly are small indeed, and themselves worthy of all con 
tempt. In the second place, you must take diligent care to refer 
all your desires and judgments to your Superiors, having perfect 
confidence that it will turn out that God will give them in His 
goodness that mind and purpose in governing you which will 
be more profitable to your true interests. 

Moreover, take care never to ask anything of them with 
importunity. Some do this, and urge their Superiors so much 
that they extort from them what they desire, however hurtful it 
may be ; and if it be denied them, they complain openly that 

* Latin, Tratisfigurans se in angelnn; tiid.;. 

248 $/. Francis Xa-vier. 

their life is unpleasant and bitter. Poor men ! they do not 
understand that all that bitterness and trouble arise and are in 
creased from this, that after having once given and devoted 
their will to God, they neglect their vow, and endeavour to turn 
their will the other way and regain it for themselves. The 
more they try to follow their own will, just so much in propor 
tion is their life more anxious and their mind more disturbed. 
There are many of these men who are so much their own 
masters that they hardly ever obey their Superiors willingly 
except when they are commanded to do what they themselves 

For God s sake take care not to be of this class. In all 
matters at home, carry out with the greatest care what your 
Superiors put upon you to do, and by the help of God, avoid 
the suggestions of the devil, who tries to persuade you that you 
can gain more profit in some other office, that so you may not 
well discharge the business which is given you to manage. This 
is a kind of artifice with which he is wont to assail those who 
are employed in letters and education. 

I implore you again and again, for the sake of Jesus Christ, 
endeavour in all humble and abject duties to win great victories 
over the devil. And in doing what you are set to do, take even 
much more pains to resist the temptations which belong to the 
duty, than in making great bodily exertion and labour to dis 
charge what is ordered you. For there are some who satisfy 
their duty exteriorly, but not internally, because they take no 
pains at all to keep under the evil movements of the soul, and 
to get rid of the impediments to the discharge of the duty which 
the devil puts in the way in order to retard them in the way of 
virtue. These men generally lead a sad and anxious life, and 
make no progress in piety and virtue. Let no one deceive 
himself. No one can ever excel in great things who does not 
first excel in small. 

There are a great many errors of a number of persons to 
be met with in this matter, but those who chiefly fall into such 
faults are men who, under the guise of piety and of the 
desire of converting souls, take measures to escape from the light 

Danger of Inconstancy. 249 

cross for light it is of obedience in order to take up another 
far heavier. Miserable men ! they do not consider that one 
who cannot bear a slight burthen will much less be able to bear 
a great one. Those who with but little virtue and little power 
of obedience are eager to undertake great things, as soon as 
they find themselves oppressed by the weight of these matters, 
condemn their own folly and cast off the burthen altogether. 
Even of those who will come from the College of Coimbra to 
India, I fear there may be some who, as soon as they see them 
selves in danger in those terrible storms of the ocean, may wish 
themselves rather in the College than in the ship. So it is 
there is a certain kind of pious fervour which waxes cold even 
in the voyage to India. 

Again, others, if they have kept their ardour till they have 
arrived, yet, when they go about through the countries of the 
heathen and begin to be oppressed by troubles in one place 
and to be exposed to danger in another, then, unless virtue has 
taken deep root in their hearts, they easily give way, and so at 
last that fire of zeal which they brought with them is extin 
guished, and the same men who when in Portugal were all in 
love with India, now that they are in India feel a great longing 
for Portugal. The same thing may come over some of you 
who are accustomed to the blessings and conveniences of the 
College, and have conceived a great and ardent zeal and are 
very eager to be sent forth to become hunters of souls. When 
they are in the midst of this conflict which they had so much 
desired, and when their ardour has cooled down a little, per 
haps it may be that they will not be able to live, for the wish 
they have to be in the College again. Do not you see, then, 
what is the final issue of these sudden and premature fruits of 
charity, and how dangerous great attempts are, unless our 
strength corresponds to them ? 

I do not, however, say this in order to repress your noble 
impulses to piety, or to deter your ardent minds from difficult 
enterprizes, so that you may not show yourselves excellent 
workers in the propagation of the Christian religion, and leave 
to your successors illustrious examples of virtue and holiness. 

250 St. Francis Xavier. 

I only say it in order that you may endeavour to be great even in 
small things, and learn clearly from your temptations and con 
flicts with the devil what your own strength is, and then alto 
gether place your entire hope, confidence, and security in God 
alone. If you do this with constancy and perseverance, I have 
no doubt that you will daily increase in submissiveness and in 
piety, and will by and by gather in a very large number of the 
heathen to the fold of Christ, and all this with great agreeable- 
ness and tranquillity of mind, in whatever part of the world it 
may be that you have to work. 

For it may well be expected that men who have learnt what 
are the troubles and diseases of their own minds, and who take 
great care to heal them, should also charitably attend to the 
wounds of others, and help them in their dangers even at the 
risk of their own life. For men who make it their study to find 
out and cure their own evil affections find no trouble in dis 
covering and curing those of others. So also those who are 
moved by the sufferings of Christ our Lord find it easy to move 
others to the same feelings. And I do not see how you can 
communicate any emotion to another, unless the same be first 
thoroughly impressed and burnt in upon yourself. 

But now let me at last return to the narrative we began 
about affairs in Japan, from which we have been digressing. In 
the native place of Paul of the holy Faith, in whom we have 
found a true and genuine friend, the governor of the city, the 
chief citizens, and indeed the whole place, have received us 
very kindly. Everybody came with great wonderment to visit 
the new priests from Portugal. They are not displeased with 
Paul for having become a Christian, but rather respect him for 
it, and all his kindred and others who have any relationship to 
him congratulate him on having gone to India, and having seen 
things which no others of his countrymen have ever seen. The 
Prince of this place was six leagues away from Cagoxima, and 
when Paul went to pay his respects to him, he was very glad of 
his return, and showed him much honour, asking himself also a 
great many things about the manners, the power, and the re 
sources of the Portuguese. When Paul told him all about 

Diligence of Paul. 251 

them, he seemed to be very highly delighted with what he 

Paul had taken with him a very fine picture of our Blessed 
Lady with the Child Jesus sitting in her lap, which we had 
brought from India. When the Prince saw the picture which 
Paul had brought he was quite struck with wonder ; he at once 
fell on his knees and venerated it in the most pious manner, 
and ordered all who were present to do the same. After this 
his mother saw it and gazed upon it, and was filled with won 
derful admiration and delight, and a few days after when Paul 
had returned to Cagoxima, she sent a man and a very good 
person he was to see about getting a copy of it taken somehow 
or other. However, there were no means of doing the thing at 
Cagoxima, and so the matter went no further. The same lady 
sent us a request by the same hand, that we would give her in 
writing the chief points of the Christian religion. So Paul de 
voted some days to this work, and wrote out in his own native 
language a great many things concerning Christian mysteries 
and laws. 

You may take my word for it, and also give God great thanks, 
that a very wide field is here opened to you for your well roused 
piety to spend its energies in. If we knew the Japanese lan 
guage, we should long ere this have been at work at this large 
uncultivated field with great fruit of souls. Paul indeed has 
diligently preached the Gospel day and night to some relations 
and friends, and has thus brought to the faith of Christ his wife 
and daughter, as well as many kinsmen and intimate friends. 
And, as far as things have gone as yet, those who become 
Christians do not find themselves commonly blamed for what 
they have done. As the Japanese for the most part know how 
to read, they soon learn our prayers by heart. 

May God grant that in order to explain His divine truths 
we may master the language as soon as possible, for then at 
length we shall be able to do some good work for religion ! At 
present we are like so many dumb statues in the midst of the 
people. They talk about us and discuss us a good deal among 
themselves, and we are able to say nothing all the time, not 

252 St. Francis Xavier. 

knowing their language. We are making ourselves children 
over again in learning the elements of it. Would that we may 
match the simplicity and candour of children ! At all events 
we are at present making ourselves like them, both in learning 
the tongue of the country and in meditating on their simplicity. 

W T e owe indeed a great debt to God for this, for bringing 
us into these heathen countries, where we may forget ourselves 
altogether. Everything here being in the hands of heathen and 
of enemies to the true religion, we have no one but God to 
hope in, no one but Him to have recourse to for protection. 
At home in Europe, where the religion of our Lord Christ 
flourishes, it somehow or other happens that the people we 
have to deal with, and created things, such as the love of our 
parents, our country, our relations, the intercourse we have 
with our friends, the conveniences of life, the remedies against 
disease, and the like, are so many hindrances to our fixing and 
placing our whole and entire hopes on God alone. But here, 
where we are so far from our home, among barbarians, utterly 
destitute of all human defence and resources, it is a matter of 
necessity for us to rely only on our confidence in God. And 
the thought of the very great benefits thus conferred on us by 
God is a source of no common shame and self reproach to us. 

For we almost see with our bodily eyes the goodness of 
God towards us. So that whereas, having come to these parts 
out of a desire to extend our divine religion, we thought that 
we were doing something worthy of reward from God, we now 
clearly see that it was indeed a very special blessing which God 
conferred on us that we came. He, by bringing us to Japan, 
has set us altogether free from that love of human things, which 
was a snare and net to us, so that we had not had much hope 
in God. I beg you to help me to give thanks to our Divine 
Lord for such great favours, that I may not fall into the fault 
of ingratitude ; a fault which turns aside the flowing source of 
God s bountiful goodness, and hinders him who has been un 
grateful for lesser gifts from receiving others still greater. 

And moreover we think we ought not to hide from you 
other blessings also which we find granted to us by God out 

Prospects of Suffering. 253 

here, in order that you may join us in giving endless thanks- to 
God the Giver. In other places the food is plentiful, and thus 
it excites the appetites and fosters them, to the detriment of 
frugality and temperance. Hence there commonly follow many 
serious evils either to soul or body. Intemperate persons suffer, 
on the one hand, many things and painful things from their 
doctors, and, on the other hand, make their life a troublesome 
one or perhaps even bring it to its end. And when they are 
under treatment they find their medicines much more disagree 
able than they have ever found their good meals pleasurable. 
The troubles caused by their medicines are followed perhaps 
by other sufferings which are very far more severe ; for they are 
often obliged to trust their very lives to the doctors, and these 
make a great many mistakes and apply a number of useless 
methods of cure before they hit upon what really heals the 

For this reason I consider it a great benefit God has 
done us, in bringing us to this place where we are, which is al 
together destitute of delicacies, and where, however much we 
may wish, we can give our bodies no indulgences at all. People 
here never kill fowls or eat them. The common food is veget 
ables and rice ; wheat, fish, apples, and other fruits are con 
sidered luxuries. Thus it is that on account of their temper 
ance most people here enjoy very good health: you see a great 
many old people about. This in itself is enough to prove that 
our nature, which otherwise might seem to be quite insatiable, is 
really contented with little. For ourselves, we are in excellent 
bodily health : may God give us the same health in our souls ! 

There is also another thing, which I am almost compelled 
to mention to you. God seems to be holding before our eyes 
a certain great blessing, and I wish you to help us by your 
prayers and sacrifices to obtain it from Him. There are a great 
number of bonzes in Japan, who are very much looked up to 
by the people, although their vices are very well known by all. 
The reason why they are held in so much honour seems to be 
their singular abstinence as to food, for their laws forbid them 
to take any flesh or fish, or wine, they live on vegetables, apples,. 

254 S/. Francis Xavier. 

and rice alone, and they take food only once a day. These 
bonzes, as I said, are numerous. Their monasteries have but 
small revenues, but on account of their great frugality, and also 
because those of them in particular who dress like our clerics, 
keep at a great distance from all familiarity with women, which 
is a great crime with them, and devote themselves rather with 
all diligence to the expounding of certain histories or rather 
fables of their superstitions, they receive great veneration from 
their countrymen. Now the Christian truth is opposed in the 
highest degree to their bad tenets and errors, and so there is a 
chance that as soon as we begin to preach the Gospel and re 
fute the lies which they teach, we shall have them all attacking 
us with great hostility. 

We have indeed only one thing in view, which is to bring 
the Japanese to the knowledge and faith of Jesus Christ our 
Lord, and we trust that we shall accomplish this by the help 
of Him whom we serve. And it does not seem that we have 
any danger to fear from the people itself, unless perhaps it be 
roused against us by the bonzes. Not even with them shall 
we enter into any conflict rashly, but at the same time we shall 
not be wanting in what is due to the glory of God and the sal 
vation of souls. We know well enough that they cannot hurt 
us unless God permit it. But if it should be so that we lay 
down our life in so pious and good a cause we shall certainly 
count that among God s greatest benefits to us, and we shall 
be grateful to our enemies themselves, for bringing us to the 
end of this continual death which is now our life and to the 
entrance of that life which is blessed and eternal. We are de 
termined not to desist from proclaiming the truth by any threats 
or terrors of theirs. If God bids us rather lose our own life 
than give up the salvation of their souls, we are determined to 
obey His command, with His own good assistance and supplied 
by Him with strength and courage, for the sake of drawing the 
Japanese out of all the darkness of their superstitions into the 
light of the Gospel. I have very great hope that the help of 
God will not be wanting to us in such a matter, since we en 
tirely distrust our own strength, and have placed all our hopes 

Heavenly Patrons. 255 

in the might and supreme power of Christ our Lord, and in the 
patronage of His most holy Mother, of all the Angels, and 
especially of the Archangel Michael the Prince of the militant 
Church. We also place much hope in that Archangel under 
whose protection and guard the country of Japan is placed, and 
to him and to the other Angels, guardians of men, we daily com 
mend ourselves and our undertaking, that they may not cease 
to implore God for the conversion and salvation of the Japan 
ese who are under their care. Moreover we continually im 
plore the aid of all the blessed in heaven, in this horrible 
danger and loss of souls, and we supplicate for the preservation 
of so many images of God, pleading the merits of all these pow 
erful intercessors to their Creator. And we do not doubt that 
whatever fault we may commit by negligence or carelessness in 
this very supplication for the aid of the heavenly host, is made 
up for by those blessed allies of ours, who offer with the great 
est eagerness and diligence to the most Holy Trinity these poor 
desires of ours to do what is pleasing to God. 

The protection of so many and so mighty defenders en 
courages us far more to hope for victory, than do the great 
and frequent snares and threats of the devil deter us from this 
conflict. We should certainly do the most foolish thing in the 
world, if we were to rely on our own power or wisdom. But 
God in His good Providence allows so many terrors, sorrows, 
and dangers to be put in our way by our enemy, that He may 
break down our spirit, give us lowly hearts, and train us to 
submissiveness of mind and humility, so that we may never in 
future feel any trust in our own prudence, but all entire trust 
in His Divine Protection. And in this He shows at once very 
clearly His own goodness and how much He remembers us, 
for He continually sends us internal teachings that we may 
learn how entirely nothing is what we can do in our own 
strength, suffering our minds often to be molested by small 
troubles and dangers, in order that we may never trust in our 
selves, and so wait on the support and aid of our most loving 
Father. For if people undertake anything with self confidence, 
they often find trifling hindrances more troublesome and more 

St. Francis Xavier. 

difficult to overcome, than even very great dangers and cala 
mities prove to be to those who distrust themselves entirely, 
and have placed upon God all their reliance. 

It is a great matter for our consolation that you should 
not be ignorant of any serious care or anxiety that besets us, so 
that you may help us either by your sacrifices or by your pray 
ers. God knows our many and great faults, and we are very 
fearful that the fair wind of His Divine help may never carry 
our endeavours to their desired end, unless there be some great 
improvement in our life and manners. For this purpose we 
must use the prayers of all the members of our Society and of 
all that love it, that by their means we may be presented to 
the universal Church the Spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, and 
we trust that she will communicate to us her innumerable 
merits and commend us to her Spouse and to our Father Jesus 
Christ, and to His most holy Mother. And so They in their 
turn will obtain of the Eternal Father, the Source and Author 
of all goods, that He may always keep us in the path of duty, 
and, overpowering our faults by His own infinite goodness, 
may continue ever to heap upon us His heavenly gifts. For in 
truth for His sake alone it is that we have come to this strange 
country and of this He is my best witness, Who sees clearly 
all our minds and intentions and from a desire of delivering 
the souls of men from the long established bondage of the 
devil, who aims at being worshipped as God on earth, since he 
could not attain to that in heaven, whence he has been cast 
down, and so vents his hatred upon men and among them upon 
these miserable Japanese. 

But now we must give you an account of our stay at Ca- 
goxima. We put into that port because the wind was adverse 
to our sailing to Meaco, which is the largest city in Japan, and 
most famous as the residence of the King and the Princes. It 
is said that after four months are passed the favourable season 
for a voyage to Meaco will return, and then with the good help 
of God we shall sail thither. The distance from Cagoxima is 
three hundred leagues. We hear wonderful stories about the 
size of Meaco : they say that it consists of more than ninety 

"Japanese Universities. 257 

thousand dwellings. There is a very famous University there, 
as well as five chief colleges of students, and more than two 
hundred monasteries of bonzes, and of others who are like 
coenobites, called Legioxi, as well as of women of the same kind, 
who are called Hamacutis. 

Besides this of Meaco, there are in Japan five other prin 
cipal academies, at Coya, at Negu, at Fisso, and at Homia. 
These are situated round Meaco, with short distances between 
them, and each is frequented by about three thousand five hun 
dred scholars. Besides these there is the Academy at Bandou, 
much the largest and most famous in all Japan, and at a great 
distance from Meaco. Bandou is a large territory, ruled by six 
minor princes, one of whom is more powerful than the others 
and is obeyed by them, being himself subject to the King of 
Japan, who is called the Great King of Meaco. The things 
that are given out as to the greatness and celebrity of these 
universities and cities are so wonderful as to make us think of 
seeing them first with our own eyes and ascertaining the truth, 
and then when we have discovered and know how things really 
are, of writing an account of them to you. 10 

They say that there are several lesser academies besides 

10 It is of course almost impossible to identify the names of the places, 
or of the orders of religious persons, as given in the versions of Francis 
Xavier s letters. The academies which he names above may probably 
have been monasteries of bonzes of different sects, in which learning was 
especially cultivated. We have sometimes felt tempted to think that the 
long residence of Francis at Paris and the immense debt which he felt to 
the University there, made him ready to see universities everywhere. As 
to Japan, however, there seems no doubt that there were numerous seats 
of learning. Meaco itself was almost a city of bonzeries, in many of 
which letters were highly cultivated. The names mentioned in the text 
may some day be recognized. It is curious that in the abridged copy of 
this letter sent to Coimbra, of which we shall speak hereafter, the name 
Frenojama is inserted in the list of academies. Frenojama was certainly 
the name of a seat of learning, as it is mentioned as such in the speeches 
of the bonzes with whom Francis Xavier disputed before the King ofBoungo 
(see chap. iii. of this book). Bandau or Bandou, which Francis seems to 
have thought to be a separate island, was the name of a tract of country in 
the more northern part of the large island of Nippon (the chief island of 
Japan), and seems to have included the neighbourhood of Yeddo itself. It 
is mentioned as conquered by the Cambacundono in 1589. Charlevoix, 
Hist, du jfapon, t. i. p. 538. 

VOL. II. s 

258 St. Francis Xavier. 

those which we have mentioned. If we see that the minds of 
all these natives are fit and prepared for Evangelical cultiva 
tion, perhaps we shall write to all the chief universities of Chris 
tendom, to relieve ourselves of a certain religious scruple which 
we feel by casting it upon them, in that they might so very 
easily, with the power of all their virtue and learning, prevent 
such immense loss, and- bring numberless heathen to the know 
ledge and worship of their Creator and their Saviour. We shall 
write to their members, as to our Superiors and parents, to look 
upon us as their younger brethren, and at the same time explain 
what joyful and abundant harvests of souls maybe reaped here 
by means of them. Therefore we shall ask them again and 
again, that if any of them cannot come hither themselves, at all 
events they may countenance those who may have devoted 
themselves in this way to the glory of God and the salvation of 
souls, and will find awaiting them here greater and more solid 
consolation of soul than at home. And if the matter shall be 
of sufficient importance to require it, we shall also not hesitate 
to inform the Holy Father himself concerning it, since those 
who are prepared to come to the worship of Christ, the bosom 
of the Church, and the obedience of the Supreme Pontiff, must 
be a part of the charge of him who is the Vicar of Christ, the 
Father of all nations, and the Pastor of all Christians. And 
we shall also diligently invite all the pious religious orders so 
dear to God, who are burning with the desire of extending the 
Christian kingdom, to come out at once and slake that heavenly 
thirst for souls which they feel in these islands of Japan, as well 
as in the country of China, which is far larger than this, and 
which it is said that it is easy to enter from hence without any 
fear of hurt from the natives, if you have the public guarantee 
of the King of Japan, whom we hope, if so it please God, to 
find well disposed towards us, and whose friendship also we hope 
to use for that purpose. For the King of Japan is a friend of 
the King of China, and on account of the friendship between 
them he is said to have with him a ring and seal, in order that 
he may give to his subjects who are going to China a public 
passport signed by the royal seal. It is said that a good many 

Hopes for the Future. 259 

Japanese ships sail to China, with a voyage of ten or twelve 
days. We are in great hopes that if God gives us only ten 
years of life, we shall see many great results produced, partly 
by those who may come out hither to us, partly by those here 
whom they may bring to the knowledge and practice of the true 
religion. Within the course of next year, the fiftieth of this 
century, we shall write to you more at full length concerning 
the state of things at Meaco and at the universities, as far as 
relates to Christian interests. This very year two bonzes, who 
have been educated in the Universities of Meaco and Bandou, 
and several other Japanese with them, are going to India to 
learn the mysteries of our religion. 

On St. Michael s day we had an interview with the Prince 
of Cagoxima. He received us very honourably, and advised 
us to keep with the greatest diligence the precepts of our Chris 
tian law. If he come to see that it is true and good, the devil 
will burst with rage. A few days after, however, he gave leave 
to all who are in his dominions and under his power to em 
brace the Christian religion if they will. These bits of good 
news I have wrapped up in the last sheet of my letter, that you 
may the more rejoice and give thanks to God. This winter we 
shall spend, I think, in explaining the articles of the Creed at 
considerable length in the Japanese language, with the inten 
tion of having the explanation printed, so that as we cannot 
ourselves be present everywhere to help everybody, the Chris 
tian religion may be spread in as many places as possible, as 
most of the Japanese are able to read what we shall print, and 
our good Paul will most faithfully render into his native lan 
guage all that may seem necessary for salvation. 

Now therefore that so large a field is laid open for your 
virtue to work in, it is time for you to prove to God and the 
inhabitants of heaven how strongly you are impelled to piety 
and devotion. To do this you must manifest the most thorough 
humility of mind in your life and exterior, and leave all care of 
your own reputation to God. He of His own accord will win 
for you esteem and authority among men, or if He does not do 
this, it will be for your sake that He does it not, because He 

260 St. Francis Xavier. 

sees that there is danger lest you should attribute to yourselves 
what belongs to Him. There is one thought which is a great 
consolation to me that I persuade myself that you always re 
mark so many faults in your own souls for you to reprehend, 
that you have a great hatred for all arrogance, and that at the 
same time you have the highest desire for absolute and con 
summate virtue, so as not to leave room for anything on account 
of which others may blame you. In this way you will come to 
look on the praise of men as a cross, inasmuch as it reminds 
you of your own faults. 

But now I will at last make an end of my letter, although 
indeed there could never be an end of rny showing you how 
much I regard you, all and each. If the hearts of those who 
love one another with the love of God could be seen, then, 
dear brethren, you would certainly see your own images im 
printed on my heart. And indeed, perhaps, if you were to use 
it as a mirror you would not be able to recognize yourselves 
therein, because I have a very high respect for your virtue, and 
you, on the other hand, have a great contempt for your own 
weakness, and on account of your remarkable humility you 
would never recognize yourselves in my heart, although there 
would be your images imprinted thereon for you to see. I 
beseech you, brethren, regard one another with true and genu 
ine love, and never let any feeling of offence spring up among 
you at any time ; turn with all diligence those noble desires, 
which you feel of working and suffering for Christ, to the study 
of mutual love and to the removal of all offence if any should 
chance to arise. You know well that divine saying of Christ 
our Lord, In this shall men know that you are My disciples, 
if you have love one for another. 10 

May our Lord Christ show what His holy Will is, and give 
us out of His great goodness strength perfectly to accomplish 
it ! Yours wholly in Christ, 

Cagoxima, Nov. n, 1549. FRANCIS. 

10 Latin, In hoc cognoscent omncs quod disci fuli md cstis, si dilcctioncm 
halmcntis inter vos. St. John, xiii. 35. 

Fathers called to Japan. 261 

We are not told by what means this letter with the others 
which follow was dispatched to India: but we know that Portu 
guese ships were frequenting the Japanese ports, especially one 
or two at no great distance from Cagoxima, and we may con 
clude that the Domenico Diaz, mentioned in the letter below to 
Don Pedro de Silva, was either the captain of one of these 
vessels or a Portuguese who had accompanied Francis in this 
or another voyage, and who was leaving Japan by one of these 
ships. Up to the time at which the letters were written, all 
had gone on fairly as to the propagation of the Gospel in Japan : 
though we can see that Francis was anticipating opposition, 
and even persecution which might imperil his life and that of 
his companions. We need not therefore speak of the change 
of affairs at Cagoxima till we come to the next chapter. The 
letter which has last been inserted was accompanied by a long 
despatch, in most respects a duplicate of that of which we are 
speaking, to the Society at Coimbra. 11 This duplicate, however, 
leaves out the part of the letter more particularly intended for 
the members of the Society in India, all of whom it would al 
most seem as if Francis thought of transplanting in due time to 
Japan. Francis also sent the following formal letter, ordering 
three of the Indian subjects to join him as soon as possible, 
though it could not be in less than a year and a half or two 
years. Caspar Baertz and Balthasar Gago are already known 
to us. The third, Diego Carvalhez, is a new name, nor does 
the register kept at Coimbra of the fathers and brothers dis 
patched from Portugal to the Indies tell us anything about him. 
It is probable that the omission of his name is to be accounted 
for by the fact that he was a Spaniard, and was not sent to 
India from Coimbra. At least there was a Diego Carvalhez 
who entered the Society at Alcalain 1547. He had belonged to 
the household of Pedro Ortiz, of whom mention has already 
been made, 12 and who befriended the Society in its first years 
in Spain. Pedro had taken into his own house near Alcala a 
number of students of the Society who had fallen dangerously 
ill, and more than one of his household had sought admission 
11 See the Notes to this book. > 2 Vol. i. p. 45, 49. 

262 Sf. Francis Xavier. 

into it in consequence of the edification which they had re 
ceived from its members when on their sickbeds. Diego, who 
entered in 1547, seems to have been sent oat to India before 
lie was ordained priest, as we find Francis arranging for his 
ordination before he was sent to Japan. 1 2 

(LXXX.) To the Fathers Caspar Baertz, Balthazar 
Gago, and Diego Carvalhez. 

May the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord always- 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

As I find that where I am in these kingdoms of Japan things 
are well disposed for a very considerable advancement of our 
holy Faith, and as my memory recalls to me that you have 
long been animated by burning desires to promote the glory 
of God by helping your neighbours to find salvation for their 
souls I have come to conceive the confident hope from this 
knowledge which I have of you, that by the help of our Lord 
God you will not be wanting in virtue and interior humility, by 
the aid and protection of which you may be able to accomplish 
what you desire, and at last arrive at the fulfilment of what you 
have so long prayed for. I command you therefore, in virtue 
of holy obedience, in order that you may have the greater merit, 
that unless any one of you be hindered by his state of health, 
you, Master Gaspar, Balthasar Gago, and Diego Carvalhez. 
come to Japan, to the city of Meaco, whither I am soon to go, 
and where I hope to meet you. And you, Balthasar Gago and 
Diego Carvalhez, all through the journey are to obey Master 
Caspar, in whose prudence and humility I trust and confide 
that he will discharge the office of Superior with the attention 
and diligence which are meet. And as I am perfectly certain 
that as soon as you see this letter you will come hither with 
out any delay, your piety, of which I have seen so many proofs, 
so persuading me, and the perfect mind in which you are 
as to readiness to obey, even with danger of death, for the 

12 He is said by Leon Pages to have died soon after the letter sum 
moning him to Japan arrived. See Orlandini, Hist. Soc. Jcsn, vii. 49. 

Preachers for India. 263 

love of Him Who first was made obedient for us even unto 
death; therefore I shall add nothing to what I have already 
said as to you and your journey hither, hoping that God will 
bring you on your way and that I shall soon see you here safe 
and sound. Written with his own hand, by your most loving 
brother in Christ, 

Cagoxima, Nov. u, 1549. FRANCIS. 

The next letter, also sent at the same time, shows that his 
labours in Japan did not make Francis unmindful of the wants 
of India. 

(LXXXI.) To the Society at Goa. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

If you have me so much in remembrance as I have you, we 
shall both find it easier to bear the longing we feel to see one 
another in the body, as we are nearly always present to one 
another in the mind. I commend to you, as urgently as I pos 
sibly can, the garrisons of the Portuguese throughout India, 
which are without priests of ours. I do this on account of the 
extreme benefit and obligations conferred on all of us who are 
in India by the King of Portugal. If the preachers of the So 
ciety from Lisbon have arrived at Goa, you will provide for 
these garrisons by their means ; if it is not so, then you will sup 
ply them with others of the Society who by their virtue and 
humility may help the Portuguese, hearing confessions, holding 
discourses, training children and servants in Christian piety, 
rousing others to a good life by means of pious meditations, 
and discharging the other offices of our Society. Indeed good 
men are always preaching to the bad by the example of their 
life, and in this way they often do more good than others who 
preach in the pulpit for there is far more power to move men 
in deeds than in words. 

If you have in the College at Goa persons of our Society 
who are fit to teach the Christian doctrine to the young in all 
the churches in the city, I think you should send them at the 

264 St. Francis Xavier. 

accustomed hours, so as to teach the Catechism every day, and 
on Sundays and Festivals to add an exhortation apposite to 
the part of the Catechism which has been explained, and at 
the same time to tell some of the remarkable doings of some 
Saint. The Rector of the College should do the same in the 
largest church of the town. If there are besides in the house 
other preachers who are fit to teach the children the rudiments 
of Christian doctrine, I shall be very much pleased if they so 
teach them, and if by the fragrance and example of their vir 
tues they rouse others to the pursuit of piety. But let all use 
the common vernacular as spoken among the Portuguese, and 
which the native Christians and slaves generally use. This is 
also what I used to do when I was at Goa for that kind of 
speech flows more easily into the ears and minds of the audi 
ence. And let me know from time to time what is being done 
in this respect. 

I most earnestly exhort you to attend first of all to your 
selves. That is the principal thing. * For he who is bad to 
himself, to whom is he good P 1 - How can any one take care 
of others who neglects himself? How will any one be atten 
tive and diligent in other persons concerns, who is careless as 
to his own ? As for the pupils of the College, take care that 
the larger number of them be Japanese or Chinese; teach them 
good manners and to read and write; practise them particu 
larly in Portuguese, that they may serve as interpreters here, 
where they will be of great use. I really think that there is no 
part of the world where greater fruits of souls can be gathered 
than in Japan and China. Two Japanese bonzes, who have 
given up their sacrilegious priesthood and have been converted 
to Christianity, will arrive at the College at Goa this year. 
Take care to treat them courteously and kindly, just as I 
used to treat Paul of the holy Faith, the Japanese, when I 
was with you. The character of the Japanese is such that no 
thing in the world can bend or guide them, except kindness 
and benevolence. You will send me the three Fathers I have 
demanded. The letter about interior dispositions of mind, which 
13 Latin, Qui enim sibi nequam est, cui bonus erit ? 

Antonio Gomez. 265 

I have placed in the same packet with this, I should like to 
have sent round to the other houses of the Society in India 
and read aloud there. May Christ our Lord in His goodness 
and mercy unite us all in His eternal joys ! Amen. 

Cagoxima, Nov. 5, 1549. FRANCIS. 

The next letter is very characteristic of its writer. We have 
already seen how far Francis Xavier was from putting full 
confidence in Antonio Gomez, whom he had yet felt almost 
obliged to leave in a post of so much power and responsibility 
as that of Rector of the College at Goa. It may at first sight 
seem strange that he should address him as the Superior who 
had the management of the Fathers in India, and was to be 
looked to to carry out the orders as to the dispatch of some of 
these to Japan, given in the foregoing letter. As a matter of 
fact, Antonio Gomez was already upsetting the College of Santa 
Fe, and had almost entirely set aside the authority of the good 
and simple Father Paul. The proper place to speak of all that 
had passed at Goa will be when we come to the return of Fran 
cis Xavier from Japan; but the letter on which we are now 
occupied needs for its full illustration some such knowledge of 
the character of the person to whom it is written as is contained 
in this simple statement of fact. Francis probably thought it 
best to address his letter to Antonio, adding the saving clause 
that it was also for Father Paul, who was, after all, to give the 
final command which was to dispatch the missionaries to Japan, 
both on account of the fact already mentioned, that Antonio 
was a Portuguese, and was looked upon as a representative of 
Simon Rodriguez, and also because he thus secured the exe 
cution of his own orders more certainly than if the letter had 
been addressed to Paul alone. But we cannot read it at all care 
fully without seeing that Francis measured Antonio with perfect 
sagacity. Cosmo Torres was wishing for him in Japan at once 
perhaps Antonio might have been ambitious of so glorious a 
field of labour for himself. His faults were not want of energy 
or of self devotion, but of judgment, of humility, of charity, and 
gentleness in dealing with men. His character would have been 

266 St. Francis Xavier. 

a noble one, and capable of the greatest services, if he could 
have given up his own ideas and his own ways : in short, if he 
could have schooled his heart and soul in those lessons of hu 
mility, self distrust, and obedience on which Francis insisted so- 
much in his instructions to the missionaries. Francis would 
have him wait, ripen, attend first to his own perfection, and 
thus become a fit instrument of the glory of God. His letter 
is full of charity, and at the same time not without its note of 
sternness, especially in the passage in which he warns Antonio 
against disobedience. 

One of its chief purposes, however, is connected with a dif 
ferent subject. He is most anxious to secure a ready means 
of conveyance for the successive bands of missionaries whom 
his ardent soul already saw on their way over the dangerous seas 
which lay between India and Cagoxima. He has an expedient 
ready at hand for this object, and so he has carefully made a 
list of the sorts of merchandize the sale of which was sure to 
be profitable in Japan, and Gomez is to flaunt this list in the 
eyes of the governor and of the officials of the revenue, in order 
to get them to take the necessary steps for establishing, as we 
should now say, commercial relations between the Portuguese 
crown and the empire of Japan, a step which would lead to- 
a considerable enrichment of the royal treasury and, no doubt r 
to large gains on the part of the officials themselves. If the 
arrangements which he proposes can be carried out, there will 
be a royal ship sent every year from Goa to Osaka, the port of 
Meaco, the Venice of Japan, as it has often been called. But 
if this cannot be, at least the governor may give the commis 
sion of opening the Japanese trade, with a monopoly of the mar 
ket, to one of his own friends, who will be quite ready, in view of 
the large return held out to his hopes, to equip a ship at his 
own expense, in which case, as Francis puts it, there will be 
no fear of a rotten or unseaworthy vessel being sent. We shall 
find that the subject is again broached in the next letter, to Don 
Pedro de Silva, the Capitan of Malacca. The careful pre 
cautions on which Francis insists in order to prevent the ships 
which may be dispatched to Japan from turning aside to the 

Letter to Antonio Gomez. 267 

nearer ports on the Chinese coast, may remind us of the dan 
ger which he had himself undergone of losing many months on 
his voyage to Japan by the same sort of lingering. 

(LXXXII.) To Father Antonio Gomez, of the Society 
of yes us. 

May the grace and love of Christ our Lord be always with 
us to help and favour us ! Amen. 

As the letter which I wrote the day before yesterday (com 
mon to all of you of the Society of Jesus who are living at 
Goa) is so long and deals so much in detail with everything, 
there is hardly anything left for me to write to you in particu 
lar except this one : that you are continually present to our 
mind and memory. Nor does my heart ever cease from ar 
dently wishing for your soul more grace and spiritual progress 
than perhaps you desire for yourself. I should wish indeed 
that you should take care of all our brethren scattered over 
India, whom I have committed to your charge ; but be sure 
that above all others I recommend to you yourself, and that I 
have no greater desire, and consider nothing to be of greater 
importance, than that you should apply all your efforts to 
be always advancing and urging on to better things your own 
soul. And if I came to know that in this business you relaxed 
even the least point from the extreme of vigilance, I should 
not think you by any means fit to have committed to you the 
salvation of others, or indeed any affair at all of serious import 
ance. But if, as I rather incline to think and as I pray God 
that He may grant, you are strenuously and vigorously con 
tinuing to press on with relentless speed to the great end ever 
kept before your mind, of bringing about the greater glory of 
God by your own perfection, getting rid of all obstacles what 
soever, and if I come to know this for certain, then I should 
by no means be without hope that the time may come when 1 
may call you out hither, to send you to Meaco or Bandou, that 
is into the very strongholds and headquarters of the supersti- 

268 St. Francis Xavier. 

tions of Japan, where you may find abundant means to fulfil 
the holy desires which you have conceived. 

Be careful not to omit to write to me fully and at good 
length about all our brethren who live scattered about India, 
as well as those who are in Portugal and at Rome, telling me 
what each one is doing, and with what fruitfulness they are 
labouring in the vineyard of the Lord. I have great hopes of 
much fruit to my soul and of exceeding consolation in reading 
these letters of yours, and I pray you not to cheat me of this, 
and not to spare either paper or pains in doing it : especially 
as I, who, as you well know, have no great abundance of leisure 
at my disposal, have taken the trouble to inform you in a letter 
so lengthy as that which I made up yesterday of all that I 
think can be pleasant or useful for you to know. So I expect 
and request that you on your part will repay my diligence 
gratefully and in kind. I wish you to be careful and sedulous 
in arranging that the Fathers whom I send for from Goa to 
Japan should get themselves free at once, laying everything 
aside, and be ready at the appointed time. I wish you also 
to use in urging this matter the authority over such concerns 
which I have conferred upon you. You know the way of doing 
this efficaciously as well as kindly, adapting yourself to the 
capacity and character of each person. 

Father Cosmo Torres, who is very fond of you, is writing to 
you, and in the vehemence of his affection for you is desiring 
for you a great many things, which I fear are not quite good 
for you just at present. No, let what is at present unripe come 
to maturity, and let us wait for the opportune moment, which 
will arrive in due time. Meanwhile, be assured of this, that I 
intend you for greater and nobler things than either you or this 
good Father who is so devoted to you desires. It will hardly 
fail to come about, that before three years are over you will 
have letters from me calling you out hither to go to one of the 
most famous universities of these kingdoms, where perhaps you 
will enjoy far greater showers of Divine consolations than you 
imagine, and will gather a very much more copious harvest of 
souls than any that you reap, however large it may be, from 

Obedience required. 269 

your labours in cultivating the Indian mission. But about this 
at another time. What is now urgent is this. I was fearing 
that perhaps some rather tender affection might steal over you 
towards some one of those of the Society whom I am calling 
out hither, and so, under some specious pretext or other, you 
might think it lawful to make an exception and keep such a 
one with you, substituting another in his place. Now I tell you 
again and again, beware of attempting anything of the kind. 
Be quite sure that if, which God forbid, you were to do such 
a thing, you would grievously sin against your particular duty 
in a matter of the greatest importance, against the explicit com 
mand of your Superior, and would become guilty of a fault 
which God would punish by no means lightly. For your own 
sake, as well as on other accounts, I desire to prevent this ; 
and so I order you, in virtue of holy obedience, to send off at 
once every single one and all of those to whom I am writing 
by name and summoning them hither, leaving out no one and 
changing no one on any pretext whatever, and to take care that 
they may be ready for the voyage when the time comes for the 
ships which are bound for these parts to set sail. By the ships 
which sail fromGoafor Ormuz usually not before March send 
thither a copy of my longer letter written on the day before 
yesterday, and at the same time the letter which I am writing 
to Master Gaspar in particular, bidding him come to us as 
soon as possible, so that he may have it early, and may be able 
to get himself ready to come out hither in good time before 
the April of the next year, availing himself of the vessels which 
usually sail to the East about that month. For we ourselves 
left Goa for our voyage hither in that same month of April. 

If it should happen that any one of those whom I send for 
should die, then arrange about substituting another for him 
with Father Paul. And when you have both agreed in approv 
ing of some one for this purpose, then order him on my part 
in virtue of holy obedience to come out with the others. For 
I think it good to lay this precept of taking the voyage, by 
virtue of the authority which I possess, on each of them, that 
they may not lose the reward of obedience. It seems to me 

270 St. Francis Xavier. 

expedient that they should bring with them two lay helpers, or 
at least one. These lay brothers, besides being industrious and 
hardworking men for the duties of domestic service, however 
humble they may be, must also be men of tried virtue, as to 
whom we may be safely confident that they will be secure from 
falling into sin, whatever occasions may present themselves. 
This is so important a matter that I repeat my commands. 
You must choose, I say, for this work men whose constancy 
in good has been perfectly proved by trial ; men whose inno 
cence may be safely exposed even to the most attractive seduc 
tions of temptation, for such are very abundant in this country, 
which presents so many most dangerous snares and pitfalls as 
to be in truth the ruin of those who do not walk cautiously, 
and who are deficient either in attention so as to avoid, or in 
courage so as to break through, the nets to catch souls which 
are most insidiously set on every side. 

While these Fathers are making their preparations for de 
parture, I should like you at full leisure to deal with the Go 
vernor and get him to write a letter to the King of Japan, 
adding also some presents, to be given to him together with the 
letter. This will have much weight in recommending the 
preaching of the Gospel to these nations. When besides its 
innate power from above it is assisted by these external vouch 
ers also, I have good reason to hope for it very great success, 
so much that I believe that in a short time a flourishing Church 
of Christ will be formed in Japan by the conversion of very 
large numbers. Moreover, as we must win every one by his 
own bait, and as people who are accustomed to calculations of 
temporal profits are not so much moved by what is shown 
them as to spiritual gains, you must take care diligently to ex 
plain to the guardians of the royal revenue at Goa, that they 
have now a very uncommon opportunity of opening a new 
source of income from Japan which will be of great advantage 
and value to his Highness. It would be easy to obtain per 
mission for a house in the maritime city of Osaka, the chief 
emporium of all Japan, to be publicly assigned to the officials 
of the King of Portugal, as well as storehouses for European 

Commercial Prospects. 27 i 

goods. These could be exchanged at a high profit for silver 
and gold of the best quality, large quantities of which are 
brought to Osaka from the mines of the country, which are 
very productive ; a factory and exchange would be set up, all 
to the great benefit of the royal revenue of Portugal. Un 
less this hope be set before them, I am very much afraid and 
I should like much that my suspicion should turn out vain and 
false that the people who manage the King s interests at Goa 
will not easily be induced to send a large vessel to Japan in 
his Highness s name, for the single and simple purpose of con 
veying preachers of the Gospel to that country. We shall be 
very glad indeed that Christ should be made known, even 
though it be as it were by a bye blow. We shall consider it a 
gain, if the Kingdom of Heaven be taken account for even as a 
sort of appendix to a search for wealth of this world, the minis 
ters of religion who are necessary for the salvation of souls 
being safely conveyed to a spot where a ripe harvest invites 
them, on a ship principally destined to establish the relations 
of human commerce. If however, on account, perhaps, of the 
present state of India, affairs should not be yet far enough ad 
vanced for the sending of an ambassador and a ship in the 
name of the King or of the Governor, he might still do a great 
favour to some one of his own kinsmen or acquaintance by 
granting him leave to make the embassy on his own account 
with the monopoly of trade with Japan, which would be of im 
mense profit. Unless I am mistaken, such a person would very 
willingly fit out at his private expense a good merchant vessel 
for this voyage, as he might look with great probability, indeed 
with a sort of certainty, for very large gain from such a ven 

You can tell well enough what rich merchants there now 
are at Goa, and what is the fortune and the ambition of each 
of them. Get some one of them, and that you may tempt his 
palate with a foretaste of the gains to be gathered in Japan 
which happen now to be so serviceable to religion set before 
him, and indeed before any of them whom you think it may be 
of use thus to tempt, the catalogue which I send herewith of 

272 St. Francis Xavier. 

the goods which could be at once sold here for a great price, 
of which there is abundance in India. The thing to be done 
would be to put a large quantity of these goods on board a ship 
to be dispatched hither, and if the owner were unwilling to run 
the risk himself, he might give the command to another, whom 
he could trust as his agent ; and we will exert ourselves to the 
utmost to help on the rapid sale of the merchandize thus sent, 
and, from the knowledge we have at present, we are able to 
promise that great profit is open to any one who would under 
take the speculation. Well, if you set all these things properly 
before the right people, there is sure to be some one roused 
by the promise of money to be so gained, so as to be ready to 
make any agreement that may be insisted on as the price of 
such expectations. Then there will be no danger lest an un- 
seaworthy ship should be chosen. They will take care that the 
vessel to which they mean to commit so large a part of their 
property be the best furnished that can be found, and they will 
spare no pains and no expense. Thus we shall gain on our 
side, that is, the preachers of the Gospel will be taken on board 
the same vessel, and be sent where there is so much need of 
them with the greatest possible security. 

You have now my ideas as to the way of procuring a con 
venient passage for our brethren from your parts to these islands. 
As to this, I will add a bit of advice gathered from our own ex 
perience. Any one who wants to reach this safely and quickly, 
must sail from Goa in April and from Malacca in June. So 
you must take care that the ship which is to come here have all 
its freight and plenty of provisions on board, and leave Goa and 
Malacca at the dates I have mentioned, nor let its commanders 
let themselves be induced, by any consideration whatsoever, to 
turn aside from their course on the way to any port of China, 
under any pretext at all either of a profitable market for their 
goods or of taking in supplies, which they must be abundantly 
furnished with from other sources. Don t let them even disem 
bark on any of the islands which lie in their course for the sake 
of trading, except indeed under urgent necessity of watering, 
which must be done with the greatest haste and expedition. Let 

Trade with Japan. 273 

them be assured, let them trust our experience, that any one 
who wants to avoid the most serious danger ought to sail on a 
straight course, and without stopping anywhere at all, from 
Malacca to Japan ; and any one who does otherwise will run a 
good chance not only of a most prejudicial and tedious delay, 
but of incurring danger to life. And as to the amount of time 
which he will lose, to speak of nothing else, you can guess from 
a comparison of the result of taking the two courses respec 
tively. The direct course from Goa to Japan, when the ship 
sails with the utmost slowness, takes four months and a half. 
If you turn aside to China, your ship will hardly reach Japan 
within seventeen months after it has left Malacca. 

And as I know how much power avarice has over the minds 
of merchants, when it sets before them the attraction of a good 
prospect ready at hand, to make them disregard all promises 
and adopt sudden resolutions, I should think it worth while to 
scheme a little so as to take away the material cause for any 
trafficking in Chinese ports, and that you should take care that 
the vessel does not carry more pepper than what the merchants 
know can be well got rid of in the Japanese trade. If they are 
aware that they have on board so large a quantity of that staple 
that they can afford to get rid of their superabundance in the 
Chinese ports, and still have plenty to sell to the Japanese, 
then it will be hardly possible to restrain them, when they are 
so near the marts of China, from following the dictates of their 
own avarice and interrupting their course, however much the 
season may be against such a measure, however much the 
sailors may exclaim. So, when the ship which is to bring out 
the Fathers is being laden, you should get from the proper au 
thorities an order that not more than eighty bags of pepper be 
put on board. That is about the quantity which can be quickly 
sold at Osaka at a very high profit. 

There is also another precaution which I should like to be 
taken in order so much the more efficaciously to restrain the 
avidity of the merchant captains. Ask his Excellency the Go 
vernor, who will make no difficulty to granting you such a favour, 
to order an express clause to be added to the rescript in which 


274 $* f ranch Xavier. 

he commits to the commander of the vessel which is to come 
hither the charge of taking out our Fathers to Japan, in which 
it may be stated that he expressly forbids him to land at any 
port in China for the sake of trafficking. For as the last moment 
of favourable weather for those who wish to reach Japan from 
China is fixed at the first of August, so that unless on that day 
they sail with the regular winds, which blow for about a month 
after that, the people acquainted with nautical matters say that 
there is no hope of getting to Japan that year, it is manifest 
that merchants sailing from Malacca near the end of June will 
not be ready for the voyage across to Japan at the beginning 
of August if they entangle themselves in business in the Chinese 
ports, which would imply a delay which would lose them the 
opportunity of the run to Japan, and force them to wait again, 
till the next year comes round, for what they called the mon 
soon, that is, wind and weather favourable for the voyage across, 
which will not recur till that stated time. And as this would be 
a severe injury to the preaching of the Gospel, which is above 
all other things dear to the King, the Governor could give full 
notice that if any one does this he will incur the penalty inflicted 
on those who knowingly oppose the King s command, since he 
has only received the commission to convey the Fathers to 
Japan under the expressly stipulated condition of sailing thither 
straight without turning aside, otherwise the King would have 
intended them to be intrusted to another ship and another 

Send to the Fathers who are at Cape Comorin a written 
copy of the long letter which I wrote to you on the third of this 
month. As soon as we have any certain hope from Meaco, I 
will at once write to you fully, as also to our brethren at Coim- 
bra, and our Fathers at Rome. If Diego Carvalhez has not as 
yet been ordained priest, you must ask his lordship the Bishop 
to ordain him. Manage to make Ruiz Gonzalez your friend, 
and show him all possible kindness, for it is of importance to 
us to have his goodwill, since the Comorin Christians are under 
his charge, so that the Fathers of our Society who are looking 
after the religious affairs of the Promontory are daily in need 

Care for the Missioners. 275 

of his favour in many ways. 1 want to hear from you about 
Melchior Gonzalez, about the College at Bazain, the Francis 
cans who before held it, whether any friars of that Order have 
lately come from Portugal, whether the College which has once 
been given up to our Society is still governed by ours, and 
whether it is expected that it will be so perpetually. So take 
care to inform me fully about all these things in your first letter. 
Tell me also about Father Niccolo, what fruit follows from his 
labours at Coulan, and whether he diligently presses on the 
affair which I so earnestly commended to him as a thing so 
highly necessary for teaching the children of the Comorin Chris 
tians to read and write, and for the help of our Fathers who are 
sent to those parts. I again and again beg of you never to fail 
to help those Fathers as to anything that they are in need of; 
rather be yourself on the watch for them, anticipate their requests 
and even their desires, on all occasions making application to 
the Governor and the Treasurer, so that all that is necessary 
may be supplied them, and even, when there is urgent need, 
and no more ready way of assisting them presents itself, pro 
viding for them in the mean time out of the home funds of the 
College. I desire also to hear from your letters whether the 
preachers of our Society who are expected from Portugal have 
yet arrived at Goa, how many they are, and with what gifts each 
of them is endowed. When they are distributed, you must con 
sider before all other places the city of Cochin, for I know how 
much it is in need of the work of a good preacher. All these 
things that I write to you are to be considered as written to 
Father Paul also, to whom you will communicate them, and to 
whom it will belong to assign to the preachers the places to 
which they are to be sent, and to send them thither by his 

Two Japanese bonzes are going to India from hence, who 
have been brought up in the Universities of Meaco and Bandou. 
Take care to be attentive to them in all things, with every mark 
of goodwill. The Japanese character is won by love and kind 
ness. Take care by all ways in your power to be in very good 
favour with his lordship the Bishop and also with his Vicar, 

276 St. Francis Xavier. 

showing them the highest love mingled with great veneration, 
serving them at a nod, and obeying them in all things. They 
are our superiors, and whatever we have to settle with them 
will be arranged incomparably more quickly and easily by 
obedience and humility. I beg of you again not to omit any 
particle of extreme diligence in dispatching to this country at 
the appointed time the Fathers whom I am calling hither. If 
God prospers our designs and helps our labours, you will some 
day receive from me letters which I shall write from Meaco 
before a year is over. May our Lord heap upon you all as 
much grace here and as much glory in Paradise as I desire for 
myself ! 

Cagoxima, Nov. 5, 1549. 

The above has been dictated by me, and what follows I 
add with my own hand. For the love of our Lord God I be 
seech you take most diligent pains to make yourself beloved 
by all and every one of our brethren. You will gain this if you 
console those who are with you with good and gentle words, 
and those who are at a distance with frequent and kind letters. 
I should very much wish you to have a fixed place and time 
for continually explaining the Christian doctrine to the igno 
rant, and I should wish you to do this in the cathedral church, 
and that in the same place you should on Sundays and feast- 
days preach to the people in the morning, and in the afternoon 
explain the articles of the Faith to the slaves and to the chil 
dren of the Christians in the language which they understand, 
as I used to do when at Goa. I desire this, that you may give 
an example to others. I also pray you most earnestly, write to 
me minutely about the interior state of your soul. You know 
how much I should rejoice, if I should learn from this mani 
festation the things which I so anxiously and solicitously desire 
as to your progress towards perfection ! Among the many bits 
of extremely happy news which I might receive, I should count 
it among the first of all if I were to hear from the concordant 
witness of many that you were very much beloved by all the 
brethren of our Society, whether those who are under the same 

Letter to Pedro de Si ha. 2.77 

roof with you, or those who are occupied elsewhere, far off or 
near, in other houses or in the missions. If I hear that they 
are all dear to you, that will be very pleasant, but it will only 
give me half the joy I want. In order that it may be full and 
complete, I must be persuaded both that you have a most ten 
der affection for all of them, and also that you in return are 
extremely loved by them. Farewell. 

Yours in the Lord, 


We have already spoken of Don Pedro de Silva, the Com 
mandant of Malacca, to whom Francis Xavier professed him 
self so deeply indebted for his assistance as to his voyage to 
Japan. His first batch of letters sent from that country is 
closed by one in which he thanks Don Pedro with all the effu 
sion of his affectionate heart, and at the same time seeks to 
interest him in his own plan for the establishment of a regular 
commercial intercourse between the Portuguese authorities and 
the newly opened empire. He also recommends to him some 
Japanese who were to visit Malacca. 

(LXXXIII.) To Don Pedro de Si/va, Commandant of 

We have at length reached Japan, sir, borne thither not 
more by favourable winds than by your good offices to us. For, 
next after the benevolent Providence of God, the prosperity of 
our voyage has been secured most of all, as we gratefully ac 
knowledge, by the extreme kindness and liberality shown by 
you to us when we were making our preparations for departure. 
You provided us in the most loving manner not only with 
abundance of stores for the voyage, but with the best vessel of 
all that were to be had at the time, and with everything of the 
same sort that could be useful to us. You cut, by means of 
the continual favour shown us by one in so eminent a position 
of authority, all the knots and delays which presented them 
selves in the business; and not only this, but to crown all your 

278 iSY. Francis Xavier. 

goodness, you added many precious gifts, by means of which 
we might win for ourselves that goodwill from the princes of 
this country which is so necessary to us. 

With these presents in charge, we arrived, by the help of 
God, on the i5th of August, the happy and auspicious day of 
the feast of our Blessed Lady s Assumption, at Cagoxima, the 
native place of Paul of the holy Faith. On his account we 
were received with all goodwill by the chief magistrate, the 
prefect, and all the people of the place. That same Paul, our 
faithful companion, began immediately to show his zeal for the 
religion which he had so unfeignedly embraced. He spent his 
whole days and nights in setting the Christian doctrine before 
his parents, kinsmen, friends, of all age and class, persuading 
them of its truth, and this with so much effect that now, 
when I am writing, he has made Christians of his mother and 
wife, his male and female relations, and whole cousinhood o-f 
both sexes, besides a large number of his other friends and for 
mer acquaintances. 

The soil of this country, as far as I have hitherto been able 
to perceive, is now so well and happily disposed to receive the- 
seed of heavenly doctrine, that we have the best right to expect 
a plentiful harvest of souls if only cultivation be not wanting. 
The nation is one with which reason prevails over passion very 
generally. They commit many sins, but the sins they commit 
do not establish a prescription against the authority of right 
reason, because they generally sin through ignorance ; so that 
it is easy to see that they will amend if they be taught. Thus 
even bad customs leave to reason its empire in some sort unim 
paired, since they are not followed openly against its decree, but 
rather insinuate themselves in an irregular and underhand man 
ner, as it were, without establishing themselves in possession. 
Thus it is that this nation has not much accustomed itself to- 
indulge in full licence of following vice against the vain reclam 
ation of reason, as is the case elsewhere, where men sin know 
ing what they are about, and with unblushing malice. 

We should by this time have already gone to Meaco, where 
the Emperor of Japan and the chief princes of the nation live,. 

Letter to Pedro de Si ha. 279 

if we had had seasonable winds to allow of the voyage. We are 
told that after four months from this time the regular setting in 
of the winds which will take us thither is expected. Then, if 
God so grant, we shall sail to Meaco. There are many and 
wonderful reports about that city, the royal capital of Japan, 
which I shall entirely believe when I have seen it for myself. 
They say that the number of houses in it is reckoned at ninety 
thousand. Two Portuguese who have been there, one of whom 
is still in Japan, say that the city of Meaco seems to them 
larger than Lisbon. The houses are all of timber, built up with 
woodwork and floors one above the other, as in our coun 
try. If it please God, in the next year from this I will tell you 
all about these matters in a long letter drawn from my own ex 
perience. My mind is filled with much hope, that by the good 
favour of Jesus Christ a large part of Japan will embrace our 
holy religion, on account of the authority which reason, when 
it is clearly understood, exercises over the nation. 

And a good part of this great fruit which we expect as so 
very probable will be set down to your liberality and kindness, 
by which, partly by your words and your own exertions, partly 
by the efficacious orders which you issued when it was neces 
sary, and also by the giving those beautiful presents out of 
your abundance with which we might win the favour of the 
King of Japan, you delivered our plan of preaching the law of 
Christ in this kingdom from infinite difficulties, which we our 
selves should have been too weak to overcome. This makes 
me trust that, by the help of God, you will finish and bring to 
the glory of full and complete success the work which your 
father, the Lord Conde Almirante, 12 so long ago began ; and 
that you will have all the greater merit with God, in that your 
father gained for the King of Portugal by the opening up or the 
frequentation of the route by sea to these nations of the East, 
hardly any other fruit than the advantage of temporal gain; 
whereas you, with far higher fortune, by so kindly assisting our 
voyage hithenvards, have brought about the eternal benefit of 
the extension of the kingdom of Christ and the spreading of the 
12 Vnsco de Gama. 

2 So St. Francis Xavier. 

glory of God. I write this that you may understand how much 
you are bound to God for choosing you for so great a work, and for 
casting deep into your mind the seed of that most praiseworthy 
design of enlarging the frontiers of our holy religion in these 
parts of the world. Nor, believe me, will a man who seeks 
first the kingdom of God ever want abundance of opportuni 
ties of human prosperity. For, unless I am mistaken, this ex 
pedition of ours to Japan promises to produce rich results to 
the King and to his realm, the interests of which you devote 
yourself to with so much faithfulness and diligence. 

Osaka is a maritime city, the chief seat of trade in Japan, 
two days journey from Meaco. With God s help, it will be 
easy to obtain that right of domicile in that city should be given 
to the consuls of the King of Portugal, as well as power to 
build storehouses where they might keep merchandize from 
India and Europe, until they might be exchanged at leisure 
with the precious metals of the country of Japan, with manufac 
tures and produce, but especially with silver and gold, which 
are brought for sale from nearly all parts of these islands in 
great quantity to that port, which is the richest that they have. 
In order that such commerce, which would be very profitable 
on both sides, may be the more easily established, I shall try 
to persuade the King of Japan to send an ambassador to India, 
who might see how great an abundance there is there of things 
most useful for the convenience of life, yet of which Japan is 
destitute, and on his return might arouse his countrymen to the 
desire of such things, and so render them more inclined to 
agree to conditions of mutual traffic. The result may be, that 
without difficulty an agreement may be made between the 
Governor of India and the King of Japan, both as to other 
regulations of commerce, and also particularly as to the estab 
lishment at Osaka of a factory and register of the Portuguese 

I have great confidence in our Lord Jesus, that before two 
years are over I shall write to you that we have at Meaco a 
church dedicated in honour of our most holy Lady the Mother 
of God, that henceforth those who sail for these islands may be 

Letter to Pedro de Silva. 281 

able, in the terrible storms of the Chinese Archipelago, to invoke 
the Blessed Madonna of Meaco. Now if you could trust me so 
far as to allow me to take the office of your agent in these parts, 
I would venture to promise that I will manage, whatever por 
tion of your property or money you should like to commit to 
me in such capacity, to return you the same increased by an 
interest of more than a hundredfold, and with your profit quite 
secure from all dangers of shipwreck or sea voyage. This would 
be an amount of good fortune in traffic as to which there is no 
risk, such that no Captain of Malacca before you has ever made 
money more safely or more productively. Would you like to 
know of what kind of this most rapid and profitable investment 
I am speaking ? I will tell you without circumlocution. Make 
up your mind, I beseech you, to give us something to divide 
among the poor Christians of this country those who are and 
those who are to be. This money so invested, I promise you, on 
the security of Christ Himself, will be returned to you in heaven 
multiplied a hundredfold, without being exposed to the uncer 
tainties of winds and waves, or to the arms and snares of pirates. 
While I have been writing this I have been rather afraid that 
I might not find your mind at present ready to run the hazard 
of this investment which is to have its profit in hope. And yet 
nothing can be safer. I know, however, that you Command 
ants of Malacca have such lofty notions, that although you are 
generally sufficiently alive to chances of gain in other ways, you 
usually neglect this most certain method of quick and large 

The corsair who commanded our vessel died here at Ca- 
goxima. He did his work for us, on the whole, as we wished, 
throughout the voyage, and yet we were not able to repay him 
by good offices either when we came to port or when he died. 
He himself chose to die in his own superstitions ; he did not 
even leave to us the power of rewarding him by that kindness 
which we can after their death do to other friends who die in 
the profession of the Christian faith, in commending their souls 
to God, since the poor fellow by his own hand cast his soul 
into hell, where there is no redemption. 

282 St. Francis Xavier. 

Many Japanese are on their way hence to you. They have 
been induced to do this by what they have heard our friend 
Paul relate of the wonders of the power and virtue of the Por 
tuguese. I pray and beseech you, by all that you owe to God 
and your own noble condition, receive them with all honour 
and liberality, and let them be lodged splendidly and comfort 
ably with gentlemen of Portugal of wealth and high character,, 
who have received injunctions from yourself to show them all 
kindness. This will do much, believe me, towards drawing 
them on to embrace the Christian religion, if they find by their 
own experience that Paul s account of the Portuguese is true. 

Domenico Diaz, to whom I give in charge my letter, to be 
delivered to you, is a very great friend of mine, as dear to me 
as I am dear to him. His kindness and goodness to us has 
been proved by me by continual services during our unbroken 
companionship in this long voyage. You will do me a special 
favour if you would discharge for me, since I cannot do so 
myself, the debt of kindness which I acknowledge that I owe 
to a man who has deserved very much at my hands. May our 
Lord God lengthen your life to many years, and take you back 
in health and prosperity to Portugal, as you and your lady wife 
desire ! Farewell. 

Your friend, with all my soul, 
Cngoxima, Nov. 5, 1549- FRANCIS. 

The arrival of this letter, together with that of the Japanese 
recommended by it to the good offices of the Capitan of Ma 
lacca, was made the occasion of public demonstrations of joy. 
Don Pedro had the royal standard hoisted on the fortress, the 
guns fired a salute, and a grand procession was organized to 
go to the Church of our Lady del Monte to give thanks for 
the good news which seemed to promise the conversion of 
Japan. Magistrates and soldiers joined the Vicar General and; 
clergy in this procession. The streets were hung with colours, 
and lighted up at night. The Vicar sang high mass in pre 
sence of all the authorities. Soon after this, the Japanese- 
strangers were baptized, Don Pedro de Silva himself standing, 
as their godfather. 


Firando^ Amanguchi, and Meaco. 

THE letters which have been inserted in the last chapter 
must have been sent to India by some Portuguese merchants 
trading on the coast at one of the ports not far from Cagoxima, 
if not at that place. It appears that the Prince of Satsouma had 
not been altogether uninfluenced by their presence in the kind 
reception which he accorded to Francis Xavier, and in the per 
mission which he had given him to preach the Christian law in 
his dominions. The Japanese princes seem to have been eager 
to gain the advantages of trade with Portugal for their own 
ports, and the prince looked for this temporal advantage in his 
toleration of the new priests from Europe. He was soon dis 
appointed, and this downfal of his expectations prefaced the 
way for the change of his policy in regard to Francis Xavier. 
The port of Cagoxima does not seem to be well sheltered, 1 and 
was in this respect much inferior for the purpose of the Por 
tuguese ships to that of Firando or Firado, on an island of 
the same name, some fifty or sixty miles north of Nagasaki, 
which, at the time of which we are writing, had not yet been 
founded. Firando is said to be difficult of access on account 

1 The bombardment of Cagoxima by an English force in 1867 was 
occasioned by a storm, which came on in the bay while the squadron whicli 
had been sent to demand satisfaction was lying there, after having seized 
some steamers belonging to the Prince of Satsouma. He had made no- 
resistance, but when the storm arose, not doubting, says M. Humbert 
(jfiif>oii fllnstrc, t. ii. p. 391), that the gods who were the protectors of the- 
Great Niphon had of themselves aroused from the bottom of the sea the 
dragon of tempests, with whose aid he could not fail to annihilate the bar 
barians, ordered the batteries of the port to open upon the ships in their di>- 
tress. This caused the action, which ended in the burning of the captured 
ships, a number of junks, the clocks, workshops, and powder magazines, and 
a part of the town itself. 

284 St. Francis Xavier. 

of rocks and shoals, but a safe harbour when it is once entered.- 
It chanced that the Portuguese merchants discovered the supe 
riority of Firando just at the time of Francis Xavier s early so 
journ at Cagoxima, and the change which they made in simple 
provision for the safety of their vessels brought on the storm 
which must have been for some time gathering over the mis- 
sioners in the dominion of Satsouma. 

We do not know the exact moment, after the leave given by 
the prince for the public preaching of the Gospel and for his 
subjects to embrace Christianity, at which this change of affairs 
took place. Some time probably elapsed after Francis Xavier 
dispatched his letter. Meanwhile he had been preaching 
freely; he had, as we have seen, had many friendly interviews 
with a chief of bonzes, the Tunda, as he is said to have been 
called, of one of the Buddhist monasteries in the neighbour 
hood. Francis Xavier does not tell us himself of other inci 
dents which attended his preaching, which have come to us 
on the testimony of eyewitnesses. No reader of his life will 
be surprised to find that now again his apostolate was illus 
trated by miracles. The most famous of these could not have 
been the first, for it was wrought in favour of the only daughter 
of a nobleman whom, in his agony of bereavement after her 
death, the new converts urged to recommend his case to the 
God of the Christians, and to have recourse to the prayers of 
the great teacher of the Portuguese. The father went to Fran 
cis Xavier, and threw himself at his feet ; but sorrow choked 
his utterance, and he could say nothing. Francis retired for a 
few moments with Joam Fernandez into the little oratory in 
which he said mass, and after a short, fervent prayer, came 
back to the poor suppliant and told him to go, that his prayers 
were heard. He said nothing more, and the nobleman was 
grieved and hurt. In this frame of mind he went homewards, and 
was met, first by a servant, who told him that his daughter was 
alive, and then by the girl herself, who ran to him and threw 
herself on his neck. She said that as soon as she had breathed 
her last, two horrible demons had seized her and were about 
Humbert, Japan Jllnstrc, t. i. p. 17. 

Miracles at Cagoxima. 285 

to cast her into hell, when two men of venerable aspect came 
and rescued her, and the next moment she found herself safe 
and well. The father took her to the house where Francis 
Xavier and Fernandez were staying, and as soon as she saw 
them, she cried out that they were the two who had delivered 
her. Both father and child were at once instructed and bap 
tized. Another miracle, different in character, is recorded of 
this time. A Japanese had been insulting and jeering at Fran 
cis, who turned to him and said gently, God preserve your 
mouth, friend ! The man was struck at once with a horrible 
and noisome cancerous disease in his mouth. These and other 
miracles served to increase the credit of the missioners, and 
it seemed likely that large numbers would become Christians 
at Cagoxima. 

The change was not long in coming. The bonzes, who 
had hitherto at least listened to the new doctrines, and two of 
whom had even become converts, took the alarm, and went to 
the prince, threatening him with calamities of all kinds if he 
allowed the worship of the ancient gods of their country to be 
scorned. It may be questioned how far their influence might 
have weighed with him, but for the chance coincidence of their 
remonstrance with the abandonment of Cagoxima as a mart by 
the Portuguese. The prince was incensed at what he con 
sidered ingratitude, withdrew his permission as to the teaching 
of the Christian law, and forbad any one, under pain of death, 
to become Christian. 

It does not appear that this edict of the Prince ofSatsouma 
was followed by any active measures of persecution : but the 
whole attitude of the people changed with regard to the Chris 
tian teaching. For many months Francis Xavier confined him 
self to the careful instruction of the neophytes who had already 
been gained, chiefly the family and friends of Paul of the holy 
Faith, who were able to assemble from time to time for prayer 
and worship, to studying the language of Japan, and to transla 
tion into that tongue of the summary of the Christian doctrine 
and of the mysteries of our Lord s life, of which mention has al 
ready been made. The rest of his time was spent in prayer and 

286 <$/. Francis Xavier. 

in the exercises of penance. This was the laying of the founda 
tion of that famous Church of Japan which was to give an almost 
unexampled instance of heroic fortitude and constancy under 
persecution. The converts became more and more firm in the 
faith, and seem from the first to have been possessed with the 
spirit which afterwards animated so many thousands of Japanese 
martyrs. They were singularly devoted to their new faith and 
its teachers. 3 

Meanwhile the months passed on, and there was as yet no 
favourable opportunity of proceeding to Meaco. This is ex 
plained by a passage in a letter written by Father Cosmo 
Torres, the companion of Francis Xavier at this time, who states 
that the Prince of Satsouma had promised to find them a ship 
for Meaco, but that afterwards he advised them to delay until 
the wars raging at that time around the capital might be over. 
Perhaps the prince s interest in the voyage had cooled down, 
but the wars were no fiction. At the beginning of September 
1 550 Francis determined to pass to Firando. The same reason 
which had turned away from him the favour of the Prince of Sat 
souma might secure him that of the less important and powerful 

3 We have at this time a considerable gap in the account of the resi 
dence of Francis at Cagoxima. It is very possible that this city was his 
ordinary place of abode, but it is not necessary to suppose that he made no 
excursions to places in the neighbourhood, and there are certainly notices 
of his activity elsewhere for which it is difficult to find a more convenient 
time than this. Thus he is said to have been walking once by the sea 
shore, where some fishermen were dragging in their nets, which, to their 
great affliction, were empty. Francis blessed the nets with the sign of the 
Cross, and bade them cast them again into the sea. This time the nets 
were found full to abundance, and that part of the sea remained afterwards 
remarkably productive. Another anecdote speaks of a town which was 
visited by a severe pestilence, which was delivered by his prayers. The 
conversion of a large number of the people was the consequence. He also 
cured a deformed child, taking him in his own arms, healed a leper and 
gave sight to a blind man by making the sign of the Cross over him, and 
wrought several other miracles recorded in the Processes, which are not 
assigned to any place or time. See Massei, 1. iii. c. 7, who quotes the 
evidence of Martino Lupo from the Processes, and the Resuino Ilistorico 
(Goa 1861), by Felippe Neri Xavier, an exceedingly useful little work, on 
.iccount of the number of its references to scarce books about the East, 
and its stores of local information. We regret not to have known of it 
until the present chapter was passing through the press. 

A Japanese Castle. 287 

lord of Firando, 4 and he might find there some Portuguese mer 
chants who might give him news of India and perhaps even 
letters from Europe. The Christians of Cagoxima were in deep 
affliction at losing him. Paul of the holy Faith was set over 
them as a sort of head. 

Francis travelled on foot, carrying himself the little bundle 
in which was contained all that was necessary for the celebra 
tion ofmass. He took with him his European companions, Cosmo 
Torres and Joam Fernandez, a convert named Bernard, the pro 
phet of Cagoxima, and another Japanese. He had not gone many 
miles on his road when he was invited by one of the great 
lords of the country, whose name is given as Ekandono or 
Eshandono, to visit him in one of the great castles which are de 
scribed by travellers in Japan/ Ekandono had heard wonders 
of the bonze from the west who had been teaching a new re 
ligion at Cagoxima, and was eager to see and hear him. Francis 
preached with great earnestness and power, and was able to 

4 Francis speaks, however, of Firanclo as belonging to the kingdom of 
which Amanguchi was the capital. 

* The castles of the Japanese nobility are built either on great rivers 
or upon hills and rising grounds. They take in a vast deal of room, and 
consist commonly of three different fortresses or enclosures, which either 
cover and defend, or, if possible, encompass one another. Every enclosure 
is surrounded and defended by a clean deep ditch, and a thick strong wall 
built of stone or earth, with strong gates. . . . The principal or innermost 
castle or enclosure is called son mas, that is the true or chief castle. It is 
the residence of the prince or lord who is in possession of it, and as such it 
is distinguished from others by a square, large, white tower, three or four 
stories high, with a small roof encompassing each story, like a crown or 
garland. In the second, called nininas, that is the second castle, arc- 
lodged the gentlemen of the prince s bedchamber, his stewards, secretaries, 
and other chief officers, who are to give a more constant attendance about 
his person. The empty spaces are cultivated, and either tunied into gar 
dens or sown with rice. The third and outwardmost is called sotiign/iici, 
that is the outwardmost defence, as also niiuwmas, that is the third ensile. 
It is the abode of a numerous train of soldiers, courtiers, domestics, and 
other people, everybody being permitted to come into it. The white walls, 
bastions, gates, each of which hath two or more stories built over it, and 
above all, the beautiful tower of the innermost castle, are extremely pleasant 
to behold at a distance. Kaempfer s Hist, of Japan (Pinkerton), p. 772. 
A similar description is given by M. Humbert, Japon Jl!i<stn\ t. i. p. 33, 
and an engraving, p. 27. 

288 St. Francis Xavier. 

baptize seventeen persons before he left the castle. Among 
these, though in secret, was the lady of the house a-nd her eldest 
son. Ekandono himself was doubtfully inclined, but allowed of 
their baptism. Francis left them a copy of the Japanese ex 
planation of the Christian doctrine, and carefully regulated the 
exercises of piety and manner of life of the little community. 

Neither Francis nor either of his two companions mention 
this incident, indeed, his own account of his work during that 
year is unusually concise, as we shall see. But this little 
Christian community was found many years afterwards (in 1562), 
in a state of innocence and fervour, which shows the blessing 
which rested upon the work of Francis Xaxier, as well as the 
instructions which he gave and the system which he established 
in order as far as possible to secure the perseverance of con 
verts under such circumstances. In the year last mentioned, 
Father Luis d Almeyda was sent to visit the Christians in 
Firando, Cagoxima, and Boungo a kingdom in the neighbour 
hood of Satsouma of which we shall have more to say presently. 
On his way he was told to call at the castle of Ekandono, and 
his letter gives a description of it which seems to justify the 
wonder with which it filled him. It had, he says, ten distinct 
bulwarks or walls connected by drawbridges, so high that the 
head swims when you look down, and a very deep ditch : all 
was said to have been cut out of the rock by sheer work, but 
Father Luis thought it could hardly be the work of man. In 
the centre of these outer fortifications rose the principal castle, 
where the visitor was received with much joy, especially by 
the lady of the nobleman who owned the castle, and fourteen 
others whom Francis had baptized himself. They came round 
him, he says, asking for news of Father Francis, and of the 
progress of Christianity in other parts of Japan, rejoicing much 
in the good tidings which I gave them, for it was many years 
since they had seen Father or Brother of the Society. He that 
after God kept them in the faith was an honoured old man, a 
sort of " majorduomo" of the castle, whom all loved very much 
on account of his virtue. He and the lady related many mira 
cles which God had wrought since Father Master Francis went 

Firando. 289 

away, for he had left them some devout prayers and litanies 
written by his own hand (which the lady kept as relics), and 
these they used to apply to sick persons and so heal them. One 
of these sick had been Ekandono himself, whose life had at 
one time been in danger, and who had been at once cured. 
Once a week the Christians all met to take the discipline to 
gether with a discipline which Francis had left behind ; but the 
old man considered it so precious that he would not let any one 
give himself more than three strokes with it, lest it should be 
worn out. Almeyda baptized some children, two of whom were 
lads, sons of Ekandono, whom he found perfectly prepared for 
baptism by the instructions of the old man, whom, on returning 
a week or two after, he found just dead. He preached several 
times, and converted some of the heathen in the fortress, one 
of whom was so very clever, that he wrote down at once all the 
instructions which Almeyda gave him, and made a book of 
them. He and the eldest son were left in charge of the rest. On 
Sundays and feastdays they all met, and a chapter of the book 
about the Christian doctrine was read, about which they talked 
for an hour. They frequently assembled for prayers. The 
Christian doctrine was taught constantly, and the harmony and 
fervour among them was truly wonderful. Ekandono himself 
told the Father that he was only prevented from becoming a 
Christian by fear of the prince. 

Firando was the scene of a sort of triumph for Francis 
Xavier. A Portuguese ship was trading there ; the captain re 
ceived Francis with a salvo of artillery, and conducted him 
with all honour to the prince, who gave him leave to preach 
freely. Conversions were now very numerous. In a few days 
there were more Christians made than had been gained in 

Massei mentions a still more striking instance of the long time during 
which the memory of Francis Xavier s preaching was kept up without the 
presence of missionaries, in the case of a place called Canadabc, thirteen 
leagues from Cagoxima, where fifty-five years after his visit which was 
probably made at this time a number of Christians were found, among 
whom was the daughter of the chief nobleman, who was baptized, when a 
little girl, by Francis, and had since consecrated herself to God by a vow 
of chastity. Massei, 1. iii. cap. i. p. 294. 


290 St. Francis Xavier. 

Cagoxima during the whole year. But Francis determined to 
press on to Meaco, or at least to other parts of the country, as 
if to explore it in the interests of the faith. He left Cosmo 
Torres at Firando, to continue the work already begun, and 
took with him Joam Fernandez and his two Japanese converts. 
* You may well imagine, my fathers and brothers, writes Cosmo 
Torres to the Society at Goa, how I felt at being left and sepa 
rated from his company, knowing the great dangers and toils 
which they would incur, for they left Firando at the end of 
October, when the great snows and frosts of this country begin. 
But as to Father Francis, for the great fire of the love of God 
which is in him for the manifestation of the holy Catholic faith, 
neither the frosts, nor the snows, nor the fear of the unknown 
race, could hinder him from undertaking this most dangerous 
journey. When they had to go by water, over certain parts of 
the sea there were many pirates, and on account of these they 
had to hide themselves below the decks of the boats in order 
not to be recognized ; and when they travelled by land they 
went as servants of certain gentlemen on horseback, and had 
to run at a gallop to keep up and not lose their way. When 
they came by night to the inns, dead with cold and hunger 
and wet through, they found no sort of comfort there. He 
goes on to speak of their sufferings from the deep snow or 
from rough roads and thickets, and from the stones thrown at 
them by the boys and rabble, and the like. With all this 
they never ceased preaching and confessing our holy Catholic 
faith . . . and you may see, he adds, what beginnings our Father 
Master Francis has made in this country, and us who followed 
him he encouraged more by deeds than by words ; and how 
ever much we toiled and suffered we were always ashamed in 
comparison to his labours, the which, not to be over long, I do 
not relate minutely and in particular the insults, and the hun 
ger, and the cold which he endured, going about that country for 
four months, always on foot, and often unshod, for the great 
streams that there are. 

This description hardly applies in its fulness except to the 
long journey which we shall presently have to speak of from 

Amanguchi. 291 

Amanguchi to Meaco ; but the picture of the fervour and love 
of suffering shown by Francis at this time would apply to the 
whole of his stay in Japan. From Firando he embarked for 
Facata, a port on the southern and smaller of the great islands 
of which Japan consists, off the western coast of which the 
island of Firando lies, and from thence sailed again to Simono 
seki, 7 the port of Amanguchi, the capital of a considerable 
state on the larger island of Niphon. Amanguchi was at that 
time one of the largest and most populous cities of Japan, the 
mart through which the commerce between the other islands 
passed, and the capital of one of the most fertile provinces ot 
Niphon. It was a very wicked place, infamous beyond measure, 
on the same account as Ormuz. Its condition moved the zeal 
of Francis Xavier. He began to preach in the streets and 
public places, though without moving more than the curiosity 
of the crowd. His preaching, however, led to invitations to 
:ome and explain his doctrine in private houses, to which he 
willingly consented. He disputed with the utmost freedom and 
courage. On these occasions he practised in a signal manner 
that fearlessness of all human things which he recommended 
in his letters. Joam Fernandez related afterwards how Francis, 
usually so humble and meek in demeanour, confronted the 
pride and arrogance of the rich and noble Japanese who used 
to interrogate him, bearing himself in a most lofty and dignified 
manner, as became the ambassador of the God of Truth. At 
times, Joam himself had to answer them in the same bold un 
compromising manner, and he confessed that while he did so 
he sometimes expected to see the sword of his questioner flash 
from the scabbard, to make the heads of both Francis and 
himself roll in the dust. Francis encouraged him by telling 

7 Simonoseki, like Cagoxima, has become unfortunately famous in the 
history of the lately renewed intercourse between Japan and the European 
nations, as the scene of an act of violence on the part of the stronger parties 
in that intercourse. Simonoseki is in a position of very great importance, 
:ommanding the strait named after it, which separates the greater island 
)f Niphon from the second, Xiino. The strait is the passage from the west 
nto the inland sea of Japan, on which a number of ports, among others 
Dsaka, lie, and through which is one of the routes to Yeddo itself. Its bat- 
erics have been destroyed by an allied squadron. 

292 St. Francis Xavier. 

him that the only way to dominate those lofty spirits was 
to fear nothing at all that they could do. In truth, it appears- 
that he won, at all events, their respect by his demeanour ; 
though the bonzes heaped insults upon him, and the common 
people ran after him, abusing him, turning him into ridicule, 
and pelting him with stones and filth. At last, his presence 
and way of proceeding in the city came to the ears of the 
prince, who sent for him and asked him why he had come to 
Amanguchi. Francis made him a long harangue. After set 
ting forth the chief points of the Christian doctrine, he began 
to inveigh against the vices of the nobles, who had received 
from God greater blessings than others ; and then he went on 
to reproach the prince himself for his indulgence in unnatural 
vices, giving scandal to all his people, and preparing for him 
self a sentence of eternal damnation from the Supreme King 
of all, before whom the greatest monarch of the world is but a 
worm. The prince listened attentively, and let him go unhurt/ 
Francis continued preaching in Amanguchi for several weeks, 
but without any effect. Very few became Christians. He left 
the city at the beginning of December 1550, and began, with 
Fernandez and the two Japanese converts, that toilsome and 
apparently fruitless journey to Meaco which has already been- 
mentioned in the extract given from the letter of Cosmo Torres. 
The country was overrun by armed bands, belonging to the 
forces employed in a civil war then going on ; there were abund 
ance of robbers besides, and at certain passes and ferries money 
had to be paid by travellers. It was either on this account 
that he might pass free as a servant or because of a diverg 
ence from the road, which was necessary on account of robbers, 
and that he might be able to regain the road without fail, that 
Francis offered himself as a servant to one of a company of 
merchants, who made him carry his baggage, running at the 
same time by the side of his horse. Not far from Meaco, he 
fell severely ill, but soon recovered, and pursued his way. 
Meaco he himself describes as an immense city, but with a 

Francis is said on this occasion to have signally confuted a bonze of 

Meaco. 293 

great part of it in ruins on account of the civil war. He was 
unable to obtain an audience either of the Dairi or Cubosama, 
the spiritual and temporal heads respectively of the empire. 
We are told by his biographers that a large sum of money was 
asked as the price of admission, and that he was altogether 
unable to raise it. He preached in the streets, but the people 
either were too preoccupied with the war which was going on 
to attend to him, or listened merely out of curiosity. He laid 
the foundations of the future Church of Meaco by his sufferings 
rather than by his successes. Ten years later, that Church was 
to begin to flourish. It is probable, however, that Francis learnt 
by this visit to the capital much as to the state of things in 
Japan which he had not before suspected. He may have seen 
that even if the Dairi or Mikado gave him leave to preach, his 
authority would not practically extend far beyond the walls of his 
own residence ; that Japan was not a kingdom like Spain or 
Portugal, in which the sovereign was everything, and his word 
absolute law even to the extremity of his dominions. There 
was a significant contrast between the apparently secure tenure 
and exercise of power which he observed in the petty princes 
of Satsouma and Naugato the kingdom of which Amanguchi 
was the capital and the titular magnificence of the Mikado 
great as was still his authority when supported by the Cubo 
sama which could not preserve his own capital from the ruin 
ous effects of war. On leaving Meaco, Francis Xavier seems 
to have determined to adopt a somewhat different line of con 
duct from that which he had hitherto thought of. He would 
make his advances at the courts of the local sovereigns, and lie 
would lay aside for that purpose, not indeed his humility, meek 
ness, poverty, and mortification, but something of that outwardly 
despicable appearance, which in itself he held so dear, but 
which he knew how to lay aside in order to serve the cause of 
Him for whose sake he loved it. 

The journey to Meaco, therefore, was not entirely unfruit 
ful even of other results than the sufferings and humiliations to 
which it had exposed Francis Xavier. He had baptized a few 
dying children, whom he had found exposed by the roadside, 

294 St. Francis Xavier. 

and he had reaped a plentiful harvest, as we have said, of per 
sonal sufferings ; in some cases even his life had been in danger, 
as he had been assailed by the crowds to whom he could not 
forbear from speaking of the Gospel, and more than once was 
wounded by arrows and almost stoned to death. He seems 
to have returned from Meaco by sea, taking boat probably at 
Osaka, and this may account for his returning to Firando rather 
than to Amanguchi. At Amanguchi, however, he made up his 
mind to begin his new career of preaching. He took with him 
the letters and presents from the Governor of the Indies, the 
Bishop of Goa, and the Captain of Malacca, which had been 
originally intended for the Mikado himself. He dressed him 
self in a manner more becoming the Envoy of Portugal, and, 
with his companions as attendants, demanded an audience of 
the Prince or King of Naugato. He was very well received by 
the King, who was charmed with the presents among which 
Cosmo Torres tells us were a manicordio e relox, a musical 
instrument of some sort, and a watch, with other more costly 
articles. Oxindono, as he was called, was unwilling not to 
show all courtesy to the representative of the secular and re 
ligious authorities of that half unknown power in India and the 
Eastern Archipelago which had so strangely risen up of late 
years, to interest and alarm the various countries at whose ports 
its ships were so continually presenting themselves, laden with 
strange merchandize of the most costly sorts, and whose prowess 
in arms seemed quite on a par with its spirit of mercantile ad 
venture. The next day an edict was placarded in the city of 
Amanguchi, allowing of the preaching of the Christian religion, 
and an empty bonzery or monastery was assigned for the resi 
dence of the new teachers. A large present of gold and silver, 
which Oxindono sent to them, had previously been refused by 

We have now reached a point in the history of Francis 
Xavier s stay in Japan at which we may again use his own 
words. The following letter is remarkable for its comparative 
brevity, and for the absence of all reflections and exhortations. 
It seems almost as if it were merely the draft of a letter, sum- 

Letter to Goa. 295 

ming up the events of the last year very shortly, and written 
at a time when Francis was uncertain whether he might find a 
means of sending it to India. There are no personal appeals 
or injunctions. Another hypothesis may be that it was written 
after he had had some incomplete tidings as to the state of 
things at Goa which required his presence, and which made 
him unable to pour himself out with his usual freedom when 
writing to his religious brethren. 

( LXXXIV.) To the Society at Goa. 

Last year, dearest brethren, I wrote to you from Cagoxima 
concerning our voyage, our arrival in Japan, and what had been 
done in the interests of Christianity up to that time. Now I 
will relate what God has done by our means since last year. 
On our arrival at the native place of our good Paul, we were 
received very kindly indeed by his relations and friends. They 
all of them became Christians, being led by what Paul told 
them ; and that they might be thoroughly confirmed in the truth 
of our religion, we remained in that place a whole year and 
more. In that time more than a hundred were gathered into 
the fold of Christ. The rest might have done so if they had 
been willing, without giving any offence to their kinsfolk or re 
lations. But the bonzes admonished the prince (who is very 
powerful, the lord of several towns), that if he allowed his 
people to embrace the Christian religion, his whole dominion 
would be destroyed, and the ancestral gods of the country, 
which they call pagodas, would come to be despised by the 
natives. For the law of God was contrary to the law of Japan, 
and it would therefore result that any who embraced that law 
would repudiate the holy founders of the ancient law of their 
forefathers, which could not be done without great ruin to the 
town and realm. Let him look, therefore, with reverence on 
those most holy men who had been the legislators of Japan, 
and, considering that the law of God was opposed and hostile 
to the law of his fathers, let him issue an edict forbidding, un 
der penalty of death, that any one in future should become a 

296 <S/. Francis Xavier. 

Christian. The prince was moved by this discourse of the 
bonzes, and issued the edict as they had requested. 

The interval after this was spent in instructing our con 
verts, in learning Japanese, and in translating into that tongue 
the chief heads of the Christian faith. We used to dwell shortly 
on the history of the creation of the world, as seemed useful 
for the men we had to deal with ; as, for instance, that God was 
the Maker and Creator of the universe, a truth which they were 
entirely ignorant of, and the other truths necessary for salva 
tion, but principally the truth that God had taken on Himself 
the nature of man. On this account we translated diligently all 
the great mysteries of the life of Christ until His Ascension into 
heaven, and also the account of the last judgment. We have now 
translated this book, for such it was, into Japanese with great 
labour, and have written it in our own characters. Out of this 
we read what I have mentioned to those who came to the faith 
of Christ, that the converts may know how to worship God and 
Jesus Christ with piety and to their souls health. And when 
we went on to expound these things in our discourses, the 
Christians delighted in them very much, as seeing how true 
the things were which we had taught them. The Japanese are 
certainly of remarkably good dispositions, and follow reason 
wonderfully. They see clearly that their ancestral law is false 
and the law of God true, but they are deterred by fear of their 
prince from submitting to the Christian religion. 

When the year came to an end, seeing the lord of the town 
to be opposed to all extension of our religion, we determined 
to pass to another place. We therefore bade farewell to our 
converts ; they loved us so much that they shed many tears, 
and giving us great thanks for having shown them the way of 
eternal salvation at the cost of so much labour of our own, 
were very sorrowful at our departure. We left with them. Paul, 
their own townsman, who is an excellent Christian, to finish 
their instruction in the precepts of religion. We then went to 
another town, where the lord of the place received us very 
kindly ; there we remained a few days, and made about a hun 
dred Christian?-. None of us knew Japanese ; nevertheless, by 

Letter to Goa. 297 

reading the semi-Japanese volume mentioned, and talking to 
the people, we brought many of them to the worship of Christ. 

I charged Cosmo Torres with the care of these converts, 
and went on with Joam Fernandez to Amanguchi, the seat of 
a very wealthy king, as he is thought among the Japanese. The 
city contains more than ten thousand households ; all the 
houses are of wood. We found many here, both of the com 
mon people and of the nobility, very desirous to become ac 
quainted with the Christian law. We thought it best to preach 
twice a day in the streets and cross roads, reading out parts of 
our book, and then speaking to the people about the Christian 
religion. Some of the noblemen also invited us to their houses, 
that they might hear about our religion with -more convenience. 
They promised of their own accord, that if they came to think 
it better than their own, they would unhesitatingly embrace it. 
Many of them heard what we had to say about the law of God 
very willingly ; some, on the other hand, were angry at it, and 
even went so far as to laugh at what we said. So, wherever we 
went through the streets of the city, we were followed by a 
small crowd of boys of the lowest dregs of the populace, laugh 
ing at us and mocking us with some such words as these : 
There go the men who tell us that we must embrace the law 
of God in order to be saved, because we cannot be rescued 
from destruction except by the Maker of all things and by His 
Son ! There go the men who declare that it is wicked to have 
more than one wife ! In the same way they made a joke and 
play of the other articles of our religion. 

We had spent some days in this office of preaching, when 
the king, who was then in the city, sent for us and we went to 
him. He asked us wherever did we come from ? why had we 
come to Japan ? And we answered that we were Europeans 
sent thither for the sake of preaching the law of God, since no 
one could be safe and secure unless he purely and piously 
worship God and His Son Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and 
Saviour of all nations. Then the king commanded us to ex 
plain to him the law of God. So we read to him a good part 
of our volume; and although we went on reading for an hour 

298 Sf. Francis Xavier. 

or more, he listened to us diligently and attentively as long as- 
we were reading, and then he sent us away. We remained 
many days in that city, and preached to the people in the 
streets and at the cross roads. Many of them listened to 
the wonderful deeds of Christ with avidity, and when we came 
to His most bitter death, they were unable to restrain their tears. 
Nevertheless, very few actually became Christians. 

Finding, therefore, that the fruit of our labours was small, 
we went on to Meaco, the most famous city in all Japan. We 
spent two months on the road, and passed through many dan 
gers, because we had to go through countries in which war was. 
raging. I say nothing of the cold of those parts, nor of the 
roads so infested by frequent robberies. When we arrived at 
Meaco, we waited for some days that we might obtain leave to 
approach the king, and ask of him to give us permission to pub 
lish the divine law in his kingdom. But we found all ways of 
access to him altogether closed. And as we discovered that the 
edicts of the king were generally thought little of among the 
princes and rulers, we laid aside our design of obtaining from 
him any such license, and I determined to sound and try the 
minds and dispositions of the people themselves, so as to find 
out how disposed that city was to receive the worship of Christ. 
But as the people were under arms, and under the pressure ot 
a severe war, I judged that the time was most inopportune for 
the preaching of the Gospel. Meaco was formerly a very large 
city ; but now, on account of the perpetual calamities it has 
undergone in war, it is a great part in ruins and waste. At one 
time, as they say, it contained one hundred and eighty thou 
sand dwellings. It seems to me very likely that it was so, for 
the wall which encircles it shows that the city was very exten 
sive indeed. Now, although a great part of it is in ruins, it 
yet contains more than a hundred thousand houses. 

When we found that the city of Meaco was neither at peace 
nor prepared to receive the Gospel, we returned to Amanguchi, 
and we presented to the king there the letters and presents 
which had been sent as signs of friendship by the Governor of 
India and the Bishop of Goa. The king was very much de- 

Letter to Goa. 299 

lighted both with the letters and with the presents, and that he 
might reward us, he offered us a great amount of gold and sil 
ver. These gifts we sent back, and then asked him that, if he 
desired to make some acceptable present to the strangers who 
had come to his city, he would give us leave to announce the 
law of God to his people : saying that nothing could possibly 
be more pleasing to us than such a gift. This he granted us 
with the greatest goodwill. 

He accordingly affixed edicts in the most crowded places 
of the city, declaring that it was pleasing to him that the law 
of Heaven should be announced in his dominions ; and that 
it was lawful for any, who desired, to embrace it. At the same 
time, he assigned an empty monastery for us to inhabit. A 
great many used to come to us to this place for the sake of 
hearing about the new religion. We used to preach twice a 
day, and after the sermon there was always a good long dis 
pute concerning religion. Thus we were continually occupied 
either in preaching or in answering questions. Many bonzes 
were often present at the sermons, and a great number of 
others, both of the common people and of the nobility. The 
house was always full of men, so full, that at times some were 
shut out for want of space. Those who asked us questions 
pressed them so well home, that the answers we gave enabled 
them thoroughly to understand the falsehood of their own laws 
and founders, and the truth of the Christian law. After dis 
putes and questionings for many days, they at last began to 
give in and betake themselves to the faith of Christ. 

The first of all to do this were those who in the discussions 
and questions had shown themselves our most strenuous adver 
saries. Many of these were persons of good birth, who, when 
they had embraced Christianity, became our friends with an 
amount of warmth which I can find no words to describe. 
And these new Christians told us with the greatest faithfulness 
the mysteries, or rather the absurdities, of the Japanese reli 
gion. As I said at first, there are as many as nine sects in 
Japan, and they are very different one from another in their 
teaching and ordinances. When we got to know the opinions. 

300 St. Francis Xavier. 

of these sects, we began to look up arguments by which to re 
fute them. So we used to press hard by daily questions and 
arguments the sorcerer bonzes and other enemies of the Chris 
tian law, and we did this so efficiently, that at last they did not 
venture to open their mouths against us when we attacked and 
refuted them. 

When the Christians saw the bonzes convicted and silenced 
they were of course full of joy, and were daily more and more 
confirmed in the faith of our Lord. On the other hand, the 
heathen, who were present at these discussions, were greatly 
shaken in their own religion, seeing the systems of their fore 
fathers giving way. The bonzes were much displeased at this, 
and when they were present at the sermons and saw that a great 
number became Christians daily, they began to accuse them 
severely for leaving their ancestral religion to follow a new 
faith. But the others answered that they embraced the Chris 
tian law because they had made up their minds that it was 
more in accordance with nature than their own, and because 
they found that we satisfied their questions while the bonzes 
did not. 

The Japanese are very curious by nature, and as desirous 
of learning as any people ever were. So they go on perpetually 
telling other people about their questions and our answers. 
They desire very much to hear novelties, especially about re 
ligion. Even before our arrival we are told that they were 
perpetually disputing among themselves, each one contending 
that his own sect was the best. But after they had heard what 
we had to say, they left off their disputes about their own rules 
of life and religions, and all began to contend about the Chris 
tian faith. It is really very wonderful that in so large a city as 
Amanguchi in every house and in every place men should be 
talking constantly about the law of God. But if I were to go 
into the history of all their questionings, I should have to write 
on for ever. 

The Japanese have a very high opinion of the wisdom of 
the Chinese, whether as to the mysteries of religion or as to 
manners and civil institutions. They used to make that a 

Letter to Goa. 301 

principal point against us, that if things were as we preached, 
how was it that the Chinese knew nothing about them ? After 
many disputations and interrogatories, the people of Amanguchi 
began to join the Church of Christ, some from the lower orders 
and some from the nobility. In the space of two months quite 
as many as five hundred have become Christians. Their num 
ber is daily being added to ; so that there is great cause for joy, 
and for thanking God that there are so many who embrace the 
Christian faith, and who tell us all the deceptions of the bonzes, 
and the mysteries contained in their books and taught by their 
sects. For those who have become Christians used to belong, 
one to one sect, another to another ; the most learned of each 
of them explained to us the institutions and rules of his own 
way of belief. If I had not had the work of these converts to 
help me, I should not have been able to become sufficiently 
acquainted with, and so to attack, these abominable religions 
of Japan. It is quite incredible how much the Christians love 
us. They are always coming to our house to ask whether we 
have anything at all which we wish them to do for us. All the 
Japanese appear naturally very obliging; certainly the Chris 
tians among them are so very good to us that it would be im 
possible to exceed their extreme kindness and attentiveness. 

May God in His mercy repay them with His favour, and 
give us all His heavenly bliss ! Amen. 

Amanguchi [July 1551]. 

The incidents which are but slightly sketched in the fore 
going letter are dwelt upon much more fully in other letters 
which were not dispatched by Francis to Europe until after his 
return to India. We must here, therefore, to some extent, an 
ticipate what might otherwise have to be said by way of com 
mentary on those letters. It is clear that after his interview 
with the Prince of Naugato, the position of Francis was greatly 
changed in the eyes of the people. He now reaped the harvest 
which he had sown some months before at Amanguchi in the 
midst of humiliation and ill success. He preached frequently 
and copiously ; and after the sermon, as he tells us, there was 
a dispute concerning religion that sometimes lasted for several 

302 St. Francis Xavier. 

hours. From his later letters we gather that he was hardly left 
time to recite his breviary, or to take his food or rest, on ac 
count of the throng of persons who came to the monastery 
which had been allotted to him as a residence, in order to ask 
questions and propose difficulties concerning religion. We have 
here two facts which must have taxed his energies to the utmost, 
and the companions and witnesses of his labours tell us that 
now, as on former occasions perhaps even in Japan, for there 
is nothing to limit their evidence to his sojourn at Amanguchi 
alone Francis Xavier was assisted by the peculiar gift of apos 
tolic men like himself: his sermons were not those of a foreigner 
who had scarcely learnt the language of the country in which 
he was speaking, but he spoke freely, flowingly, elegantly, as if 
he had lived in Japan all his life. There is evidence also that 
at this time he preached fluently in Chinese to the merchants 
of China who traded in the port of Simonoseki. 

Another wonderful form of the same gift is also mentioned 
in the accounts of Francis while at Amanguchi, which reminds 
us of the manifestation of miraculous power on the day of 
Pentecost, when the Apostles spoke in one language and were 
understood in several, persons from so many different parts of 
the world hearing their words each one as if spoken in the lan 
guage of his own country. When several questions were put 
to Francis at the same time by different persons in the crowd, 
he made one answer which satisfied all. In after years, when 
other missioners succeeded him in Japan, the people complained 
that they did not answer their questions as immediately as the 
first teacher of Christianity they had seen. 

Everything that we hear about the Japanese at this time 
shows how foreigners were struck with the extraordinary inquisi- 
tiveness with which their active intelligent minds flew upon the 
theological and philosophical questions raised by the introduc 
tion of a new religion. We have seen how Francis himself 
thought it a matter of wonder that the whole city should be 
talking of the law of God. It was not the languid critical 
curiosity which St. Paul found among the idle speculators at 
Athens. Japan was a new soil for the seed of divine truth to 

Natural Virtues of the Japanese. 303 

fall upon : it had not as yet rejected the faith, and amid the 
mass of corruption and error which it presented to the eyes of 
its Apostle there were singular elements of good, which he 
seems to attribute to the natural uprightness and reasonable 
ness of the national character. The Japanese, as he describes 
them, were a sturdy honest race, not effeminate, not frivolous, 
not childish. False religions had long overlaid the remains of 
primeval truth which had been handed down from the earliest 
fathers of mankind ; the religious and devotional instincts which 
are innate in man had been attracted by fabulous deities, behind 
whose imaginary powers lurked the indefatigable enemies of the 
human race; and the natural law itself had, in more than one 
of its most immediate developments, become obscure and hid 
den in their minds. Thus inhuman cruelty was the rule as to 
children, who, either before or after they were born, were mur 
dered by their parents without its being considered a crime. 
Suicide was in some cases even honourable. Unnatural lusts 
reigned throughout the whole of society. Francis Xavier, as 
we have seen, was perfectly conscious of this; and yet in the 
true spirit of that large and noble theology which he had so 
eagerly studied in Paris, and which came to be now so service 
able to him in a land which no European had heard of when 
he was a student, he could excuse much of what he saw on the 
plea of ignorance, and he rested his hopes of the conversion of 
many on the ground that they did not knowingly sin against 
reason, heinous as were the crimes which they committed. This 
account of their state is quite consistent with the serious ear 
nestness with which these Japanese at Amanguchi applied 
themselves to theological discussions; and it made the work of 
missioners a real battle, a continual conflict of reason and argu 
ment, in which hot answers, exaggerated statements, or illogical 
syllogisms, were sure to bring confusion even upon the advo 
cates and defenders of truth. 

This was something Francis had never met with since he 
left Paris, and his mind was evidently deeply impressed, not 
only with the necessity of immense interior humility and morti 
fication in those who were to combat for the faith, in order to 

304 St. Francis Xavier. 

secure the assistance of God, but also of trained intellect and 
capacity in wielding the weapons of theological argument, that 
the human part of the means of warfare might not be wanting. 
The Japanese were hungry for truth : they had minds that could 
see the difficulties which revelation presents, especially when it 
is historically considered; and the men who were to feed them 
with truth must be able to stand up against questionings, some 
of which, coming straight from the unsatisfied cravings of the 
human mind, breathed all the subtlety of the scholastic dispu 
tations with which he had been familiar when he first made the 
acquaintance of Ignatius. In India there was nothing of this. 
If Francis could have penetrated, as Robert de Nobili after 
wards penetrated, the more refined and recondite teaching ot 
the Brahmins, he might have found something more intellectual 
to cope with than he ever found. To him the Indians were a 
soft, vicious, ignorant, barbarous race, with little mind and no 
strength of character. If we can imagine a barbarous and hide 
ous Corinth, India was like such a Corinth to Francis when he 
went there to do the work of St. Paul. If the Athens of St. 
Paul had been the Athens of the days of Socrates, young, vigor 
ous, fresh, not more blooming with every artistic beauty than 
glowing in every vein with the purest and most active intellectual 
life, then Japan might be compared to such an Athens when 
Francis Xavier became prematurely grey in disputing with her 

We shall see how strongly Francis Xavier speaks in his 
letters to Ignatius Loyola and Simon Rodriguez of the neces 
sity of sending only picked men to deal with the active in 
telligent society on which he had come, as it were, by surprise. 
Another great element of difficulty in the way of the Gospel 
preachers must have been more obvious to him from the first 
the opposition which was sure to arise from the powerful 
order of bonzes, under which name, as has already been said, 
he includes the ministers of all those different religions and 
sects which divided the Japanese among themselves to such an 
extent, that controversy was no new employment to them when 
Christianity appeared to draw the attention of all and the ani- 

Difficulties of the Converts. 305 

mosity of many on itself. When he wrote the letter which we 
have last inserted, he seems to have made some progress to 
wards the intelligence of the different sects of this nation. It 
would seem that the concertation concerning religion, which 
he speaks of as ordinarily taking place after his sermons, was 
not a simple answering of questions and objections on his own 
part, but that he and his companions carried the war into the 
country of the enemy by asking of their opponents explanations 
of recognized facts, such as the existence of the world, and the 
like, and that they were glad also to ascertain from others the 
common answers given by the bonzes and learned men on such 
matters. The records of the College of Coimbra contain a very 
long paper, which professes to be a translation in Portuguese of 
an account given to Francis Xavier by Joam Fernandez of the 
questions discussed between Cosmo Torres and himself on the 
one hand, and a number of Japanese interrogators on the 
other, after Francis himself had left Amanguchi. The questions 
turn on all sorts of points, the nature of God, creation, the dif 
ference between men and beasts, the nature and immortality 
of the soul, the devils and angels, the way of sanctity, what hap 
pens after death, hell, Paradise, and the like. Joam himself was 
the chief speaker on these occasions, as he had learnt the lan 
guage faster than Father Cosmo, and he most faithfully recounts 
the various objections and difficulties, ending by commending 
himself through Francis to the prayers of all the good brethren 
and fathers at Malacca and Goa, in the hope that they would 
soon come out and take up the controversy themselves. 

Francis mentions in his subsequent letters the difficulty 
which had most weight upon the minds of his first converts 
at Amanguchi the objection, namely, that, if no one could be 
saved without the observance of the law of God, it appeared 
strange that so good a God should have deferred till that time 
the publication of His law in Japan. Francis tells us first, in 
general, that he answered the difficulty so as to remove all 
scruple from their minds ; and, a little later in the same letter, 
he mentions how he had shown them that God never left men 
without His law written in their hearts, or the witness of their 


306 St. Francis Xavier. 

consciences, and that thus salvation was possible for them ; as 
also, that if they were lost, it would have been by their own 
fault The whole range of the controversy, as far as we can 
gather it, or imagine it with any certainty, is most interesting ; 
and Francis Xavier was thus, in fact, called upon to make his 
Apology for Christianity as the earlier fathers had been called 
on to make the same to the heathen philosophers and emperors 
before whom they pleaded. In doing this he began a work which 
in China and India, as well as in other countries, was taken up 
by members of the Society in subsequent years, and which will 
only be duly appreciated and recognized when, if ever, the good 
Providence of God may reward the many labours spent and the 
many lives laid down in those countries for the sake of the 
Gospel by making those magnificent regions of Eastern Asia 
the homes of great and flourishing Churches of Jesus Christ. 

We could hardly expect not to find these busy prosperous 
months of preaching at Amanguchi illustrated by the miracles 
which so constantly accompanied the apostolic labours of Fran 
cis Xavier. The two Japanese converts already mentioned 
gave their testimony that he had healed many sick persons by 
the sign of the Cross or by holy water. Other prodigies are re 
corded. The most conspicuous prodigy of this time, however, 
was, in general, the holy mortified lives of the ambassadors of 
Christ, and in particular the meekness of Joam Fernandez, 
who, when a man approached him one day as he was preach 
ing as if to whisper something into his ear, and then spat in 
his face, gently wiped away the spittle with his handkerchief, 
and went on with his sermon. It is said that this instance of 
humility and serenity brought about the most remarkable con 
version of the time, that of a young doctor of great reputation 
for learning, who was about to enter among the bonzes. He 
was baptized by Francis Xavier, taking the name of Laurence, 
and was soon afterwards received into the Society. His name 
became famous in the annals of the infant Church of Japan. 


The King of Boungo. 

THE letter of Francis Xavier to the Society at Goa which 
was last inserted does not speak of any intention on his part 
of returning to India. It is, however, likely that as soon as 
he found the serious nature of the intellectual work before the 
missioners who were to attempt the conversion of Japan, he 
became aware of the necessity of selecting carefully the men 
to whom the task was to be committed. Japan was by far the 
most promising as well as the most arduous field of labour 
which he had as yet met with ; and Francis Xavier was not a 
man who would spare any pains to meet all the difficult require 
ments of the work before him. Freed from many of the draw 
backs which shackled the ministrations of the missioners in 
India, he found himself in presence of a nation of reasoners 
dominated, as to religious matters, by a strong and organized 
hierarchy of bonzes, in high credit with the people on account 
of their supposed learning, of the prestige of centuries, of the 
immense influence which the popular superstitions gave them, 
and of the external sanctity of their lives, though this last ele 
ment of their reputation was not free from flaw and suspicion. 
Such a race of men were sure to bring very great power into 
the field against Christianity, which would destroy the sources 
of their wealth and influence by the same blow which shattered 
their fabulous creed. He had relied hitherto, as we have seen 
from his letters, on the men whom he had left behind him in 
India, or whom he had sent to the Moluccas, to be the future 
missioners of Japan. But after his experience at Cagoxima, 
Firando, and Amanguchi, he felt that he must seek for greater 
learning, greater readiness in theological disputation, if not for 
greater sanctity and selfdevotion, than he had as yet at his com 
mand in the men who were to continue his work ; and on this 

308 St. Francis Xavier. 

account it is by no means improbable that he would have re 
turned to India to seek such among the fathers who must have 
arrived from Portugal during his absence, even if there had 
been no imperative reason for the westward voyage in the cir 
cumstances of the Society over which he was bound to watch. 
It is certain that after he had been two years in Japan, he be 
gan to think it necessary once more to turn his eyes towards 
Malacca and Goa. 

Religion had now made very considerable advances in 
Amanguchi. Francis was very cautious in admitting converts 
until they had been well instructed and proved, and yet we find, 
either at the date of which we are speaking or a little later, the 
Christians in the city numbering as many as three thousand 
souls. The bonzes lost their young disciples in troops, and 
the instruction given to the converts was so solid and at the 
same time so intelligible, that laymen and even women were 
found able to meet the ministers of their former religion in ar 
gument, and easily confute their sophistries and fables. On 
the other hand, whenever, to regain their credit, they attempted 
to meet Francis himself on the ground of argument, they found 
themselves confounded, silenced, and made ridiculous. They 
betook themselves, therefore, to endeavours to influence the 
King or Prince of Naugato by the fear of the calamities with 
which the just anger of the native gods of Japan would be sure 
to visit him and his states if the new religion were any longer 
tolerated. Oxindono could not revoke his edicts : he had ac 
cepted Francis as an envoy bearing presents from the Governor 
of India, and it is probable that he would have feared alienat 
ing the Portuguese merchants, to conciliate whom seems to 
have been generally an object among the petty kings of Japan 
at this time. But he secretly persecuted the converts, confis 
cating their goods, and the like a measure, however, which 
only increased their fervour ; and Francis Xavier was able to 
bear them witness that there was no one of them who was not 
ready to lose all that he had, and even his life itself, for the 
sake of his faith. This spirit of martyrdom was characteristic 
of the Japanese Christians from the very beginning ; and it tes- 

The Portuguese Merchants. 309 

tifies to the thorough instruction given to them by the mission- 
ers, as well as to the influence of the apostolic sanctity and 
greatness of soul which were conspicuous in their first great 
teacher. Meanwhile the bonzes of Amanguchi were serving 
the cause of the Gospel in another way by spreading over the 
country a number of libellous charges against the new preachers 
and their doctrine, and thereby turning the public attention 
forcibly upon them. 

It must have been about the end of August 1551 that 
Francis learnt that a Portuguese ship was staying at Figi, the 
port of Fucheo, capital of the kingdom of Boungo, of which in 
cidental mention has already been made. The kingdom of 
Boungo lies on the northeastern coast of the large island of 
Ximo or, as it is called in modern maps, Kiou Siou, the same 
part of the Japanese group in which Satsouma and its capital 
Caxogima are placed. The King himself appears to have 
sent to inform Francis of the arrival of the Europeans and 
to beg him to visit him. Mendez Pinto, who was one of the 
Portuguese merchants belonging to the ship, reckons the dis 
tance from Figi to the point of Kiou Siou opposite to Simono- 
seki as about sixty leagues. The captain of the party, Duarte 
(Edward) Gama, was charged with some letters to Francis, 
from which he could learn how much his presence was re 
quired in India. As soon as Francis Xavier heard of their 
arrival, he sent a Christian convert to them with the following 
letter : 

(LXXXV.) To the Merchants at the Port of Figi. 

The direction of this letter will not, as is usual, bear the 
names of you to whom it is addressed, and you will be the less 
surprised at this when you learn, what is the truth, that the 
very reason why I write is to know your names. I pray you 
to be so kind as to tell me who you are ? what is the name of 
the ship which has brought you hither ? did you leave every 
thing at peace and quiet at Malacca when you set sail ? I beg 

3 i o 6V. Francis Xavier. 

of you to be so good as to write us a short answer informing us 
of these things. Meanwhile, I beseech you not to take it amiss 
if I suggest to you to steal a little spare time from the occupa 
tion of your business in order to spend it upon the examination 
of your consciences. Believe me, that, after all, is the one mer 
chandize by far the most profitable of all merchandizes, and 
the profit which comes from it comes very much quicker, and 
is much more abundant, than that which is the fruit of the ex 
change of the wares of Europe with the skins or silks of China, 
although it be true that the profit of that lastnamed trade is^ 
cent per cent, as much as the capital itself. I was thinking, 
if it so pleased God, of making an excursion hence to salute 
you, as soon as I receive your answer. May our Lord God in 
His immense clemency keep us all with His divine Hand ever 
over us, and preserve us, by His grace, in this life, constant and 
firm in the service of His Supreme Majesty ! Amen. 

Your brother in Christ, 
Amanguchi, Sept. i, 1551. FRANCIS. 

1 Mendez Pinto, who gives a narration of all that passed while he be 
longed to the party of merchants at Figi, as well as during the subsequent 
voyage of Francis Xavier, quotes the letter rather differently from the text 
that we have followed, which was found at Macao by Father Philippucci. 
The latter part of the letter js much the same in both versions, and it is 
quite possible that Mendez Pinto s copy may be correct, the beginning of the 
original having been perhaps torn off as a relic before the time of Father 
Philippucci s visit. Mendez Pinto gives it as follows: 

May the love and grace of Jesus Christ, our true God and Saviour, 
dwell always in your hearts, through His holy mercy ! Amen. 

By some letters of advice which the merchants of this city have received, 
they have been informed of your happy arrival in this country. But inas 
much as the news has not seemed to me so true as I desire in my soul that 
it may be, I have thought well to assure myself thereof truly by means of 
the Christian whom I send to you. "Wherefore I pray you very urgently 
to let me know by him whence you at present come, also from what port 
you have set sail, and at what time you reckon upon returning to China, 
for I would much wish, if such were the good pleasure of God, to endeavour 
as far as is possible to me to pass this year from hence to India. You will 
also oblige me greatly if it please you to let me know your names and that 
of your ship by the same means, and also of the captain who commands it, 
giving me also certain tidings whether all is in peace and tranquillity at 
Malacca. [Then follows the exhortation to devote some time to the regu 
lation of their conscience.] Voyages dc Mendez Pinto, t. iii. c. 208. 

News from India. 31 1 

This letter of Francis Xavier caused great joy to the Portu 
guese. Such was his reputation all over the East, so much in 
particular had his open affable charity endeared him to the sea 
faring class, among whom much of his time was necessarily 
spent, that we are told that his arrival anywhere was welcomed 
joyously by merchants and sailors, who always showed him 
special marks of reverence and love. The merchants imme 
diately sent him news from India and Malacca probably the 
letters which had been confided to them by Francesco Perez 
and informed him that they were to sail in about a month 
for China; that there were three on board who were bound 
for Goa at the beginning of the next year, and that one of 
their company was Diego Pereira, his own intimate friend. 
Francis immediately set out with three Japanese Christians, 
one of whom, it appears, was the young doctor, Laurence, 
having first summoned Father Cosmo Torres to join Joam 
Fernandez in charge of the Christians of Amanguchi. After 
journeying on foot to within a few miles of Figi, he fell ill, 
his feet were swollen, and he had a violent headache ; so he 
sent on the Japanese to inform the merchants of his approach. 
The Portuguese at once set out to meet him, riding themselves 
and leading a horse for him to mount if he would. Having 
set out, says Mendez Pinto, we had hardly gone a little more 
than a quarter of a league when we met him coming in the 
company of two Christians, whom within a month he had con 
verted to the faith, men of the highest quality in the kingdom. 
For this reason the King of Amanguchi, availing himself of 
their conversion as of a specious pretext, had confiscated the 
income they had of two thousand taels, which are worth three 
thousand ducats. Now, inasmuch as we were all in our holi 
day dress, and mounted on good horses, we were quite struck 
with confusion to meet him in so sorry a plight ; for besides 
that he was on foot, he carried on his shoulders a bundle in 
which were all the things necessary for saying mass. It is true 
that the two Christians who followed him relieved him from 
time to time, and helped him to carry this burthen. To say 
the truth, the thing astonished us and saddened us much. But 

312 St. Francis Xavier. 

because he would never accept any of our horses, we were ob 
liged to accompany him on foot, although it was against his 
will ; and this served for a great example to the two new con 
verts. When we arrived at the river of Figi, where the ship was 
at anchor, he was received with all the show of joy that it was 
possible for us to offer him, insomuch that all the artillery was 
fired off four several times, consisting of sixty-three " berches," 
falconnets, and other pieces, so that the noise was very great, 
on account of the hollow rocks which were thereabout. But 
the king, who at that time was at the city, astonished at so ex 
traordinary a thing and at hearing us fire in this way, imagined 
that we were fighting some squadrons of corsairs which were 
reported in the city to be upon the coasts, and sent at once in 
great haste a man of quality to ask us what it was. He ad 
dressed himself to Duarte de Gama, and gave him the king s 
message, with some offer of aid agreeable to the occasion. 
But the captain answered him, in words full of courtesy, thank 
ing him kindly for his offers, that we were rejoicing at the arri 
val of Father Francis, because he was a holy man, for whom 
the King of Portugal, our master, had great respect. The gen 
tleman was no less astonished at what he heard than at what 
he saw. " I must confess to you," he said to Duarte de Gama, 
"that I shall go back in great confusion, and not knowing 
what answer to give to my king; for our bonzes have assured 
him that this man of whom you speak to me is not a saint, as 
you say, but that it is certainly true that they have sometimes 
seen him talking to the devil, with whom he has a secret under 
standing; and that for the rest, he does by witchcraft some mar 
vellous things, whereat ignorant persons are astonished; and 
that he is so miserable and so poor, that the very vermin with 
which he is covered have pity on him, and will not eat his 
flesh. So that I have considerable fear that they will lose all 
the credit which they have with the king when he knows the 
contrary of what they say, and that he will never more see 
them or listen to them; for it seems most likely indeed that a 
man whom you prize so much, and whom you receive with 
so much rejoicing and honour, is in truth such a one as you 

At Fucheo. 313 

say, and not such as the bonzes have pictured him to the 

The messenger returned to the King of Boungo, who imme 
diately sent a young noble of his own family with a letter to the 
father bonze of Chimahicogim the Japanese name for Por 
tugal begging him to come and see him. Mendez Pinto gives 
the letter in full, and there is no reason for supposing that his 
version is not, in the main, authentic. The young noble who 
bore it came down the river in a sort of state barge, well at 
tended, and was received with a salute of fifteen cannon, which 
pleased him greatly. It was determined that Francis should 
proceed to Fucheo, up the river, on the morrow. The Portu 
guese captain and his friends insisted on being allowed to escort 
him with every possible mark of honour; and although Francis 
resisted out of humility, he had to give way, probably thinking 
that it was important for the interests of religion that an im 
pression should be made on the King and on his subjects. 2 

The description of the progress of Francis Xavier to make 
his visit to the King of Boungo is a perfectly characteristic bit 
of Mendez Pinto s narrative, and illustrates also that love of 
display which was as inherent in the character of the Portuguese 
as was loyalty to their King and to their faith. Every one, 
says Mendez, did his best on the occasion. We embarked in 
the shallop of the ship, and in two pinnaces (manchuas), which 
had their standards and their banners of silk, on board which 
also there were trumpets and hautboys, which sounded alter 
nately a novelty which seemed so great to the people of the 
country, and astonished them so much, that when we arrived 
at the quay, we had a difficulty in landing, for the great num 
ber of people who had crowded together there. There met us 
the Quamsyandono, Captain of Canafama, and by the express 
order of the King he had a litter with him in which he wished 
to place the Father. But he would not accept of it on account 
of his respect for us, and walked straight to the palace accom 
panied by a number of nobles and thirty of us Portuguese. 
There were also our servants, in number as many as ourselves, 

2 Mendez Pinto, t. iii. c. 209-213 (for all related in this chapter). 

314 St. Francis Xavier. 

all finely dressed, and having gold chains round their necks. 
Father Francis had a full cassock of black camlet, a surplice 
over it, and a stole of green velvet brocaded with gold. In his 
suite walked our captain with a baton in his hand, as major- 
duomo, and there followed him five of the most honourable 
and richest of the merchants, who, as if they had been the 
Father s servants, carried with much ceremony certain things 
in their hands, as for example, one carried a book in a cover 
of white satin (this book was the translation of the Catechetical 
Instruction ), another some slippers of black velvet which we 
happened to have with us, another a Bengal cane with a gold 
enchasing, another a picture of our Blessed Lady wrapped in a 
scarf of violet damask, and another a parasol to be held over 
a person when walking ; and in this order and array we passed 
through the nine principal streets of the city, where there was 
so great a crowd that every place was full of people to the very 
roofs of the houses. 

Mendez goes on to relate how, when they arrived at the 
court of the palace, they found a hundred men drawn up, 
armed with darts and lances and scimitars richly adorned. 
They next came to a long gallery, and here the merchants knelt 
before the Father, and each presented to him the article which 
he had been carrying, filling the Japanese nobles who were 
looking on with admiration at the dignity and majesty of the 
person to whom they thus paid homage. Then they came to 
a great hall in which were a number of gentlemen clothed in 
satin and damask of divers colours, with short swords covered 
with plates of gold. Here a child of between six and seven 
years of age, led by an old man, approached the Father, and 
made him a little speech, praying that his arrival at the King s 
palace might be as pleasant to both of them as the rain which 
God sends from heaven when the ricefields suffer from drought. 
Some sentences of this kind passed between Francis and the 
child, who seemed to speak with an intelligence far beyond his 
years, and then they went on through another chamber, where 
a number of lords of the kingdom rose up to make their gro- 
menares to the Father, as they call their compliments, putting 

Civa?i, King of Boungo. 3 1 5 

their heads thrice to the ground; then through another long gal 
lery, bordered by orange trees, to another hall where the King s 
brother received the visitors; and at last, after an almost endless 
series of rooms, they arrived in the presence chamber of the 
King, who advanced five or six steps to meet Francis, would 
not let him kneel to him, but, on the contrary, paid to him 
himself the respectful salutation of the gromenare. 

We must, however, forbear from giving the full narrative of 
this remarkable interview. The King received Francis with the 
utmost respect, made him sit by his own side, and provoked a 
bonze who was present to rebuke him severely and to break 
out into a long and passionate eulogium on his own order. The 
King at last lost patience, and ordered him out of the room. 
The bonze departed, calling down the anger of heaven upon 
such kings. Then the King made Francis Xavier sit at the same 
table with himself, and also entertained the Portuguese visitors. 
Francis knelt to kiss his scimitar, a sign of great respect in 
Japan, and prayed that the God of heaven might reward him 
for his goodness by giving him His own grace, that he might 
make profession of His holy law as His true servant, and come 
after death to enjoy His presence eternally. The interview 
ended with great expressions of amity on both sides. 

This Civan, King of Boungo, whose name meets us con 
tinually in the early annals of the Church of Japan, was a young 
man of about twenty-two years of age, brave, intelligent, and 
just. His reputation was very high among the princes of Japan. 
His life was stained by some great impurities, of that abomin 
able kind which was so prevalent in his country. Except this 
great blot, his character was untarnished. He is said, a few 
years before this time, to have interfered with his father in 
favour of some Portuguese merchants, whose ship with her 
rich cargo the King was advised by some of his counsellors 
to seize. Civan defended the strangers out of compassion and 
a natural love of justice. They found out their danger after it 
was over, and also discovered to whom they had owed their 
safety. Some of them conversed with the young prince about 
the Christian religion. He had also heard of Francis Xavier,. 

316 St. Francis Xavier. 

at the time of his preaching at Amanguchi, and was well dis 
posed to receive him for his own sake, and not alone on motives 
of policy. 3 

This interview between Civan and Francis Xavier removed 
all difficulty as to the public preaching of Christianity in the 
kingdom of Boungo. Francis began immediately, and his efforts 
were eminently successful. Converts came to him daily. A 
great sensation was produced by the conversion of a certain 
Saqay Gyran, a learned bonze of Canafama, who, after disputing 
a good deal in public with Francis, gave way one day in the 
presence of a large audience, and made a public profession of 
his faith in Jesus Christ. Francis was so continually occupied 
with the Japanese that the Portuguese complained. They could 
only see him late at night and in the early morning, when he 
was at their service to hear their confessions. He told them, 
however, that they must never wait for him at meal times, as 
the food in which he delighted was to be occupied in restoring 
souls to their Redeemer. He was still very cautious in admit 
ting new converts to baptism until he had fully instructed them, 
and he kept many waiting rather than expose them too soon to 
the trials which were sure to fall upon them. He had long confer 
ences with Civan, and though he did not succeed in making 
him a Christian, he prepared him for conversion by inducing 
him to amend his life. The prince dismissed one who was the 
object of an impure attachment to him. He had before been 
niggardly in dealing with the poor, on account of the false 
teaching of the bonzes, who held that poverty was a sin ; he 
now became a great almsgiver, and he even issued an edict 
against the prevalent custom which shocked so much the tender 
heart of Francis, by which infants were frequently put to death 

3 Charlevoix, Hist, du Japon, 1. i. 8, p. 213, says that this prince 
was the same mentioned by Fernancl Mendez Pinto in the passage already 
referred to (see ante, p. 103) as having met with a severe accident when 
trying to fire off an arquebuse. The age there mentioned would certainly 
suit Civan ; but the prince is named by Mendez Pinto as Arichandono, and 
is said to have been the second son of the King of Boungo. If he were the 
same as Civan, it seems strange that Mendez Pinto should not say so, as 
he might himself have been recognized and welcomed by the prince. 

Revolution at Amangucbi. 3 1 7 

either in their mothers womb or as soon as they were born. 
The bonzes were furious, and decried and calumniated Francis 
Xavier to the utmost of their power ; but to no effect, on ac 
count of the cordial support afforded to him by Civan. 

Meanwhile, a sudden and terrible danger threatened Father 
Cosmo Torres and his companion Joam Fernandez at Aman- 
guchi. After the departure of Francis, as we learn from a letter 
written to him by Joam, the Japanese bonzes and others, who 
had learnt to be afraid of the powerful words with which he 
had been wont to silence their objections, thronged around 
Father Cosmo, hoping to find him less of a master in argument. 
We have already mentioned the long list of questions which 
Joam faithfully transmitted to Francis Xavier. The bonzes of 
Amanguchi are said to have been so confounded with their ill 
success in argument with Joam and Father Cosmo, and their 
inability also to move Oxindono to take any active steps against 
the missioners, that they incited a sudden revolt against the 
prince on the part of one of his great lords, which took him by 
complete surprise. Whether the bonzes were at the bottom of 
the movement or not, Oxindono lost heart, and perhaps over 
estimated the danger. He acted like a true Japanese : he shut 
himself up in his palace, had it set on fire, stabbed his son with 
his own hand, and then cut himself open. The confusion which 
followed was a perilous time for the new Christians and still 
more so for their teachers, but it seems to have been soon over. 
There was a short interval of plunder and massacre, but no 
Christians suffered. The missioners were sought for, but they 
were safe. The wife of a chief noble forced some bonzes, who 
depended upon her gifts, to receive the two strangers for a 
time ; and then, for still greater security, she concealed them in 
her own palace. 4 The storm soon passed away, and when order 
was restored the nobles of the kingdom of Naugato met to 
elect a new sovereign, and fixed upon the brother of the King 
of Boungo, who was already predisposed to favour the Chris 
tians. It must have been about this time that Francis deter- 

4 This lady was the wife of Nectandono, and is mentioned, with her 
husband, in the letter of Francis to Europe (below, p. 341). 

1 8 St. Francis Xavier. 

mined to build a small church for the use of the Christians 
at Amanguchi. He borrowed the necessary money from the 
Portuguese merchants at Fucheo. 

The time was now approaching when the Portuguese ship 
must sail for the coast of China, whither the captain was bound 
to convey the merchants who had embarked in his vessel. 
Francis went to take leave of the king, and had a long and ear 
nest conversation with him on the topics which had been dis 
cussed between them in their frequent conferences. He spoke 
particularly of the uncertainty and shortness of life ; he bade 
him think of the handful of dust and ashes which was now all 
that remained of so many great kings and emperors of whom 
the history of Japan told him, and urged him, before it was too 
late, to provide for his own soul. His words were not to bear 
their fruit for many years. Civan was withheld by considera 
tions of policy and prudence, perhaps also by the fascination of 
passion not altogether put away. Francis Xavier was on the 
point of leaving him, when an attendant announced that the 
famous bonze Fucarandono was outside desiring to speak with 
his Highness. Fucarandono was one of the great lights of the 
country : he had attained a grade in the hierarchical system of 
the Buddhists which but few reached, and had been for thirty 
years a teacher in one of their most renowned seats of learning. 
He was then the superior of a monastery called Mias Gimaa, 
some few leagues from Fucheo, and had been requested by his 
brethren at that place to come and help them in their contest 
with the European teacher. The name of Fucarandono appeared 
to disconcert the king, who was afraid, from his very great re 
putation, that he might prove too difficult an adversary even 
for Francis. Francis begged that he might be asked to come 
in, and Fucarandono entered. 

The accounts of the various conferences and disputes be 
tween Francis Xavier and this famous bonze, which are given 
at considerable length by many of the biographers of the for 
mer, appear to be originally derived from the narrative of Men- 
dez Pinto, from which we have already quoted. As Mendez 
was very unlikely to invent arguments of the kind, and as he 

Fucarandono. 319 

candidly confesses that he does not always remember the ans 
wers given by the Father to the objections and questions urged 
upon him, we may feel more secure in accepting his statements 
than if they had come to us from the pen of some theological 
writer of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries, in which it 
was not considered unlawful even for historians to follow the 
example of writers such as Thucydides, Livy, or Tacitus, and 
put speeches of their own into the mouths of the persons con 
cerned in some actual scene. Mendez, like many travellers in 
regions unknown to the men of their own day, was once thought 
a great romancer, but the verdict of modern criticism is more 
favourable to him than that of some of his own contemporaries. 
But if he has ever yielded to the temptation of telling travel 
lers tales in his most amusing book, it has been on subjects very 
different in character from that of these conferences at which 
he was present; and we may fairly accept his narrative as giving 
us a most interesting insight into the sort of points as to which 
the controversy was waged, in which moreover he is entirely 
consistent with Francis Xavier s own statements. 

After the first compliments, which were ceremoniously paid 
on both sides, the King asked the bonze why he had come. 
Fucarandono replied that he had come to see and take leave 
of the Father of Chenchico 5 before he left. He then asked 
Francis, says Mendez, whether he remembered him ? Cer 
tainly not, for I have never seen you before, said the Father. 
It seems to have been a part of the doctrine concerning the 
transmigration of souls held by these bon/es that it was a reward 
of virtue to remember what had passed in a former stage of 
existence, and a mark of weakness or wickedness to forget it. 
This was probably the reason why Fucarandono began on this 
point. He then asked Francis whether he had any more of the 
stuff which he had sold him at Frenojama fifteen hundred years 
ago, when he had sold him fifty picos of silk ? Francis asked 

* Here again we have the name Chenchico, which has given us much 
trouble on account of Francis Xavier s statement about the University of 
Jenico or Chinghinquo (see ante, \>. 75), from which the religions of 
1 hina, Tartary, and Japan were derived. We are inclined to conjecture 
that the word must simply be a name for the West. 1 

;2C St. Francis Xavier. 

him quietly how old he was ? Fucarandono replied that he 
was fifty-two. How then is it possible that fifteen hundred 
years ago you were a merchant, and that I sold merchandize to 
you ? And if it is true what you bonzes preach publicly, that 
Japan was only peopled six hundred years ago, how can you 
have traded at Frenojama fifteen hundred years ago, since you 
would have us believe that at that time the country was a desert? 

The bonze, rather disconcerted, went on to lay down his 
doctrine about the eternity of the world, the endless number of 
lives through which all human souls pass, and the like, as well 
as on the blessing of a good memory. All this the Father, says 
Mendez Pinto, refuted thrice over with words so clear, reasons 
so evident, and comparisons so apt and natural, that the bonze 
was struck with confusion, of which reasons, he adds, I shall 
not speak here in order to avoid prolixity, and much more be 
cause I avow that my wit is not capable of understanding them. 
Fucarandono then went on with the general subject, and after 
wards asked Francis Xavier why he forbade the unnatural lusts so 
common in Japan. Here again Mendez tells us that the Father 
reasoned so clearly and so forcibly as to carry with him the 
approval of those who were present, whereupon the bonze be 
came furious, and broke out into outrageous language. The 
bystanders interfered, and the prince himself whose dinner 
time had arrived told him abruptly to leave the room, and 
that if he had not been a bonze he would have had his head 
cut off. 

This dismissal of Fucarandono, however, entailed grave con 
sequences, which enable us to understand more completely the 
position of the King towards the bonzes, and the danger to which 
even he was exposed in favouring the Christian teachers. The 
bonzes broke out into open hostility to the Court, and if they 
had been able to find, as at Amanguchi, one or more powerful 
lords to take up their quarrel, the danger which Cosmo de Torres 
and Joam Fernandez had incurred would have been repeated 
in the case of Francis Xavier. As it was, the bonzes put Fucheo 
under a sort of interdict. They shut up their temples, refused 
to offer any sacrifices for the people, and even declined alms, 

Danger to the Christians. 

as if heaven was irrevocably offended by the toleration of the 
new preaching. The people began to move, and the King was 
obliged to act with great prudence. The Portuguese, brave as 
they naturally were, took the alarm, and all went on board their 
ship. It must be remembered that their departure was already 
fixed upon; still, there can be no doubt that they thought them 
selves and Francis in great danger. He had retired to a poor 
hut with a few native Christians, and was there quietly waiting 
the issue of the affair. Duarte de Gama, the captain, went to 
find him and urge him at once to take refuge on board the ves 
sel. We have seen more than once how Francis had spoken 
of the blessedness of dying for the faith and the name of Jesus 
Christ ; how it had been remarked of him that he seemed al 
ways to have martyrdom in his heart and on his lips. The 
moment of which we are speaking was perhaps that moment in 
his life at which he seemed to be nearer to the fulfilment of his 
desire than at any other. He told the captain that he knew 
that he was unworthy of the great favour of being put to death 
for such a cause. He begged him to excuse him to the mer 
chants on whose part he came, that for the present he could not 
follow their advice, as by so doing he should give great scandal 
to the new converts to the faith, and give them a very bad ex 
ample, by which the devil and his adherents would profit. He 
begged Duarte, therefore, to set sail in all freedom in order to 
discharge his engagements to his passengers; but for himself he 
was obliged to do otherwise out of regard to his merciful God, 
Who in order to save him had Himself died upon a cross. 

There was no resisting the appeal implied in these words. 
The captain went back to the ship, and offered to make it over 
with all its cargo to the passengers in quittance of his engage 
ment ; they might take it and go he would remain with the 
Father, and never abandon him. His resolution was contagious. 
The merchants all resolved to wait, whatever happened. The 
ship, which had left her moorings in preparation for sailing, 
returned to her former place, and the Christians were as much 
encouraged as the bonzes were mortified at seeing the readi 
ness with which rich men of the world like the merchants were 


322 St. Francis Xavier. 

willing to risk their property and lives in the service of Francis 

The decision of the Portuguese merchants had a great effect 
on the enemies of Christianity. The tumult caused by the 
bonzes seems to have subsided as rapidly as it had arisen, and 
they themselves were driven to new measures, more in accord 
ance with reason and right in their opposition to Francis. It 
is to this that we owe the account of one of the most curious 
scenes in his life, the details of which are, however, very imper 
fectly given to us by the friendly chronicler, Mendez Pinto. 
The biographers of Francis, and the historian of the Church of 
Japan, have endeavoured to fill up the gaps in the narrative of 
the Portuguese adventurer, and something may be gathered 
from the statements made by Francis himself in his letters to 
Europe. Except, however, this last source of information, the 
accounts given by Bartoli, Charlevoix, and others, of the con 
ferences of which we are about to speak, must be considered 
rather as representing what probably took place than what is 
certainly recorded. 

The conferences in question were the result of a renewed 
attempt on the part of the bonzes to silence and confute the 
Christian preacher. That they should have adopted this policy 
may be taken as an evidence of the truth of what Francis 
Xavier so often asserted about the Japanese, both as to their 
extraordinary love of discussion and as to their general readi 
ness to bend to the decision of reason. We have no cause for 
supposing that there were not among the bonzes, as among the 
rest of the Japanese, many who were sincerely in search of truth, 
and eagerly desirous to submit to it at any cost to themselves, 
though they had a more direct interest than any other class in 
the population in the maintenance of the national religion, 
and perhaps also, as Francis Xavier says, were frequently more 
impure in their lives than those whom they taught. Their in 
fluence over the people was undoubtedly very great, while at 
the same time the whole conduct of the King of Boungo and 
his lords seems to show that the aristocracy were ready enough 
to see them turned to ridicule and reduced to silence, and were 

Conferences with the Bonzes. 323 

not afraid to act violently against them. But in any parallel 
case, as in theirs, we should probably find more reasonable 
ness and goodness of intention than we might at first sight sus 
pect. From whatever motive, however, the bonzes had proposed 
that the dispute between their great champion Fucarandono and 
Francis Xavier should be renewed. The King at once assented, 
and as the Portuguese ship could not delay long, the confer 
ence began immediately. 

On the first day, to all appearance, some attempt was made 
to intimidate the King, or at least his foreign guests. Fucaran 
dono appeared at the palace gates escorted by three thousand 
bonzes, all of whom desired to be present at the disputation. 
The King, however, refused admittance to all but four with Fu 
carandono himself. Francis came at the same time, escorted 
by the Portuguese merchants and their captain, who had re 
solved to show him, if possible, still more honour on this occa 
sion than when they had accompanied him on his first visit of 
ceremony to the palace. They were gorgeously dressed with 
chains of gold, arid they waited on him as his servants, kneel 
ing to him when he spoke to them, and carrying in their hands 
their caps garnished with pearls. The bonzes, says Mendez, 
were filled alike with displeasure and astonishment. Certain 
rules of the discussions had been agreed upon at the request of 
Francis, in order that they might not degenerate into mere con 
versation, or be interrupted by violence and outrageous language. 
These rules were, that they should speak with moderation and 
without abusive language ; that the disputants should accept 
the decision of the bystanders as to what was reasonable ; that 
at the end of the disputation judgment should be given by a 
majority of voices; that the bonzes should not directly nor indi- 
xectly hinder those who wished to become Christians; that 
when a contradiction arose in the argument, appointed judges 
should decide upon it; and lastly, that what was proved by 
actual reason and accepted by the common judgment of men 
should be acknowledged as true. 

The disputes lasted five days, and we have, as has been 
said, but very imperfect reports of what took place, especially 

324 St. Francis Xavier. 

of the answers and arguments alleged by Francis Xavier him 
self. It is, however, not difficult to gather a general idea of the 
line which the controversy took. The first disputation was 
opened by Fucarandono in a tone less haughty and more gen 
tle than that which he had before used. The King had asked 
the general question, Why the bonzes objected to the preach 
ing of the new law? Fucarandono stated the objections very 
naturally. The new law was altogether contrary to theirs, and 
tended to the discredit of the service of the old gods of the 
country ; the precepts of the foreign teacher condemned things 
which had always been permitted by their old Cubocamas ; he 
gave out publicly everywhere that the salvation of men was 
only to be found in the doctrine which he himself preached ; 
and that the holy Fatoquins, Xaca, Amida, Gizon, and Canom, 
were enduring perpetual torments in a profound pit in the house 
of smoke, handed over by the justice of God to the old serpent 
of the abode of night. Francis desired that the objections to 
his teaching might be put one by one, so that he might answer 
them in the same way. This was agreed to, and Fucarandono 
asked him Why he spoke against the gods ? 

Mendez Pinto sums up the answer given by Francis in a 
few lines, and then tells us that all who heard him, except the 
bonzes themselves, were so convinced of the reasonableness of 
what he said, that Fucarandono was not allowed even to reply 
upon his answer. We can only gather from this that Francis 
Xavier enlarged upon the nature and attributes of God as they 
may be known, according to the doctrine of Scripture, from the 
visible creation, and from our experience of providence and 
conscience ; that from this he went on to argue that these at 
tributes could only belong to one Supreme Author and Creator 
of all things, and that therefore Xaca, Amida, and the rest 
could not have any right to the divine character. The contro 
versy, as so often happens, was then turned to a very different 
subject, though one which, no doubt, was of great practical im 
portance to the bonzes who were arguing against Christianity. 
They were in the habit of giving letters of credit on heaven, 
by means of which, for the payment of a certain sum of money,. 

Conferences with the Bonzes. 325 

the mourning relatives of deceased persons enriched in the 
next world those whom they had lost in proportion to their 
offerings. Francis was asked why he objected to these cochu- 
miacos, as Mendez calls them. The question obviously 
opened the whole subject of heavenly rewards and of the means 
by which they are gained ; and Mendez tells us that Francis 
Xavier spoke of good works wrought in faith and charity, of 
the Incarnation and Passion of our Lord, of redemption through 
His death, of baptism and perseverance ; and also that he 
turned his argument against portions of the doctrine of the 
bonzes, the unreasonableness of which might easily be under 
stood by any one, such as their denying salvation to women, their 
condemning all the poor to reprobation, and the evident 
worldly interest which they had in keeping up such a system 
as that of their letters of credit. Here again Mendez tells us 
that the audience were altogether on the side of the Christian 

This seems to have been the last point discussed during the 
first of these solemn disputations, over which the King himself 
presided, and at which a great crowd of nobles was always 
present. Of the following days we have even less ofa detailed 
account in the narrative of Mendez Pinto. He tells us that 
some of the things which they put to Francis Xavier were very 
subtle and high, such as the human mind could not have ima 
gined, while others were childish and easy things which any 
one could have answered. Sometimes they related to the most 
important subjects, and at others to the most trivial. He men 
tions a few as specimens, and they are very interesting to us. 
Before going to the disputation Francis used to beg the prayers 
of the Portuguese, both, as he said, on account of the weak 
ness of his own mind, and also because the devil spoke by the 
mouth of these enemies of the law of God. Mendez mentions 
the following difficulties. The first was the resumption ofa 
point which had been touched on before, the doctrine of the 
bonzes concerning poverty. God was the enemy of the poor, 
they said, since He refused to them the good things which He 
gave to the rich. This was an evident mark that He did not 

326 St. Francis Xavier. 

love them. This it was not difficult for Francis to refute, and 
the Portuguese reporter tells us that the bonze who argued this 
point was obliged to acknowledge his defeat. Another took 
his place with an ingenious piece of frivolity, which perhaps ap 
peared to his companions as a miracle of cleverness. The 
Father, he said, had certainly come a great distance to teach 
the Japanese ; but to what profit if his doctrine were false ? 
There are, according to what he tells us, two Paradises, one 
in heaven, one on earth, and one only can be enjoyed by any 
one. Now, Paradise is not the place of labour, but the place 
of repose. But man evidently has his Paradise here on earth. 
Kings, princes, great men, rich men, all rest in the enjoyment 
of their dignities, their wealth, their power; even the poor have 
their natural enjoyments. The creatures whose lot it is here to 
labour are the poor animals, beasts of burthen, and the like ; 
their life is passed in toil and affliction, and the Paradise of the 
next world must be for them, and not for men, who are so 
prone to sin. 

This was intended, it would seem, to be an absurd conclu 
sion deduced from what Francis Xavier taught about the bless 
ings of the next world being the reward of sufferings endured 
here. Another objection of the bonzes was meant to meet his 
doctrine about the creation of all things by God a doctrine 
entirely new to the Japanese and the consequent dependence 
of everything upon Him. If God was to be so much honoured 
and thanked for having created all things, as the Father said, 
then Amida must have still greater honour for having preserved 
them. For they might have been good at the beginning, but 
they soon became degenerate and corrupt through sin, so that 
all would have fallen to nothing, but that Amida was born of 
them. They said, says Mendez Pinto, that Amida was born 
eight hundred times, in order to give perfection of being to the 
eight hundred species of things which exist in the world. This 
statement looks like a mistake on the part of Mendez. It was 
Buddha, and not Amida, who was said to have been eighty 
thousand times born, in order to give substance and perfection 
to the eighty thousand species of the world. This argument 

Conferences with the Bonzes. 327 

appears to have produced a quarrel among the bonzes them 
selves, who, as Mendez tells us, were on the point of coming 
to blows in the presence of the King and the whole audience. 

There is a family likeness about these objections, as well 
as a great air of probability. On the following day, the King 
came himself to invite Francis Xavier to the dispute, speaking 
of it as a kind of sport like hawking, and telling him that there 
were still two birds left for him to deal with. It would seem 
that the bonzes had prepared a long paper, full of objections 
of the same sort as those which have just been mentioned ; but 
the King interfered, saying that the Portuguese could not be 
kept waiting from their homeward voyage for ever, and that 
the bonzes must cut the matter short. They then requested 
that they might simply ask Francis some very good things 
which they desired much to learn of him, and that there need 
be no disputation. Certainly the last conferences turned on 
more important and fundamental objections than those before 
urged objections which will always be found in serious and 
thoughtful minds to whom the Christian doctrine of the uni 
verse is presented, if they have not some high and reverential 
ideas concerning the nature and attributes of God, and His 
position and rights with regard to His creatures and the govern 
ment of the universe which He has made for His own glory. 

The bonzes, says Mendez, came to the Father and begged 
him to forgive them the past, and then asked him their new 
questions. It astonished them, they said, if God foresaw 
things past as well as future, by reason of His infinite know 
ledge, how it was that He did not when creating the angels 
foresee the disorder which Lucifer and the rest would cause 
by their disobedience, so as to prevent the necessity of His 
divine justice having to condemn them to perpetual punish 
ments. If He foresaw that, what could be the explanation 
why His divine mercy did not prevent an evil from which so 
many other evils would follow, so many offences against the 
Divine Majesty? But if to justify Him it is said that He did 
not see it, then what the Father taught concerning Him was 
false. Francis answered their difficulty, declaring to them 

328 St. Francis Xavier. 

1 very largely, says the reporter, what was the truth in this 
matter ; but they contradicted him with reasonings so subtle, 
that he turned to Duarte de Gama, who was by his side, and 
said, See ! what these people say does not come from them 
selves, but from the devil who instructs them on this subject; 
nevertheless the confidence which I have in God makes me 
hope that He will answer for me. The bonzes seem to have 
got hot upon the answers which Francis gave, as the King re 
buked them for their violence, and told them to listen to 
reason, and not bark like so many dogs ; at which the nobles 
present began to smile, much to the disgust of the Japanese 
disputants. Mendez relates next how Fucarandono went back 
after this to objections of a more frivolous character. He had 
heard Francis invoke God under the name Dius or Dcus, and 
it seems that diusa in Japanese means a lie. In the same way 
the Japanese word sancte means something foul or profane. 
The objection was therefore urged on Francis that he called 
the Creator and Lord of all things a lie, and that in the Litanies 
of the Saints, which he used to recite with the Christians after 
mass, he called the Saints by a bad name. After hearing the 
explanation given by Francis, the King himself advised him to 
use another word, Beate instead of Sancte. 

Later on the dispute went back to more serious and funda 
mental difficulties. The bonzes raised the question about God s 
foreknowledge of the sin of Adam and its consequences. Why 
did He not prevent it? Again, they objected to the great de 
lay which had taken place in bringing about the healing of the 
sins of the world by means of the Incarnation. If God was to 
send His Son to redeem the descendants of Adam after his 
fall, why did He not show more diligence in succouring so 
extreme a need ? And, they added, if it were replied that the 
delay was in order that men might learn the enormity and 
hideousness of sin, this was not enough to excuse God from a 
want of care and attention in waiting so long. All these diffi 
culties, says Mendez, the Father answered with reasons so clear 
and pertinent that it was impossible to reply to him. The con 
ference ended by the King rebuking the bonzes again for their 

Objections of the Bonze*. 329 

want of reasonableness. The Christian law, he said, was 
founded upon reason, and those who opposed it ought not to 
be so unable to meet it upon that ground. He took the Father 
by the hand, and, followed by all his Court, led him to the 
house where he usually abode with the Christians around him, 
the bonzes threatening meanwhile the vengeance of Heaven 
upon a king who allowed himself to be so easily misled by a 
sorcerer and worthless adventurer. 

This is what is actually known to have passed in their cele 
brated conferences. Several of the points raised in them are 
mentioned by Francis Xavier himself in the letter which we 
shall presently insert, though he seems to be speaking of the 
questionings addressed to him while at Amanguchi. The mix 
ture of ingenious trifling with the serious difficulties which have 
been so often urged in every age and in every part of the world 
against the government of God in relation to His permission of 
evil, the delay of redemption, and the partial distribution of sav 
ing truth, is very remarkable and very characteristic. Mendez 
Pinto s narrative has every note of faithfulness and sincerity. 
The answers attributed to St. Francis Xavier by so many of his 
biographers do not rest on exactly the same authority as the 
questions of the bonzes as here given ; but they are perfectly 
in harmony with his own statements, as well, of course, as with 
Catholic theology. Here, at the farthest end of the known 
world, he found the benefit of those long years of intellectual 
and theological training which he had spent in the University 
of Paris. The Japanese bonzes were intelligent and clever; but 
the force of their objections did not lie in the ability of those 
by whom they were urged. It lay partly in the nature of the 
subjects to which they referred, inasmuch as the plan of God in 
the government of His creatures is a scheme which human in 
telligence can never entirely comprehend, though faith and 
reason alike enable us to see that that scheme contains nothing 
that is unjust or unmerciful or in any way inconsistent with the 
character of God as He has revealed Himself to us. It lay 
partly also in the fact that the whole idea of God as a Creator, 
and, consequently, as absolute Lord over His creatures, who 

33 St. Francis Xavier. 

have no rights before Him except such as result from His own 
ineffable holiness and the essential conditions of the nature 
which He has given them, was an entirely new thought even to 
the wisest of the Japanese, as well as in the constant tendency 
of human nature in its present condition to exalt itself and make 
itself the centre and arbiter of the world. And whenever even 
Christian minds are untrained in true thoughts and reflections 
concerning the dominion and the nature of God, and in the 
practice of that humility which is the natural attitude of a crea 
ture in respect to its Creator, there will be a danger of their 
not seeing at once the answers to such difficulties as those now 
mentioned which are given by our Lord and His Apostles. 
More than this : after all has been said that Scripture and Ca 
tholic theology teach us to say with regard to the government 
and providence of God, there will always remain that inade 
quacy in our conceptions of both which leaves us much to 
adore without attempting fully to explain it, in that reverential 
spirit which made St. Paul exclaim after unravelling one great 
difficulty of this kind, the reprobation of the Jews : O the 
depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of 
God ! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and His ways- 
how unsearchable ! 5 

Francis Xavier embarked with the Portuguese immediately 
after the close of these conferences. He first took an affection 
ate and solemn farewell of the King, exhorting him once more 
to think most seriously over the danger of delay in embracing 
the religion of the truth of which he appeared to be convinced. 
We know from the letters of Francis Xavier how he could re 
buke the good King of Portugal, on whose support, humanly 
speaking, the whole of the Indian missions depended, and he 
would certainly not be likely to be less freespoken in the pre 
sence of the young King of Boungo. After his farewell, and a 
tender parting from the new Christians, Francis set sail on 
Nov. 20, 1551. He took with him the two Japanese Christians, 
Bernard and Matthias, who had already been for some time his 
companions, as well as an envoy from the King of Boungo to 
* Rom. xi. 33. 

Letter to Europe. 33 i 

the Governor of the Indies, asking for the Portuguese alliance, 
and for Fathers of the Society to teach Christianity to his 

The following letter was not written till the January of the 
following year, after Francis had arrived in India. But it sums 
up so completely the history of his sojourn in Japan that it will 
be better to insert it here, rather than defer it till after the ac 
count of his homeward voyage. 

(LXXXVI.) To the Society in Europe. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ be ever 
with us ! Amen. 

By the favour of God we all arrived at Japan in perfect 
health on the i5th of August 1549. We landed at Cagoxima, 
the native place of our companions. We were received in the 
most friendly way by all the people of the city, especially the 
relations of Paul, the Japanese convert, all of whom had the 
blessing to receive the light of truth from heaven, and by Paul s 
persuasion became Christians. During our stay at Cagoxima 
the people appeared to be wonderfully delighted with the doc 
trines of the divine law, so entirely new to their ears. 

Japan is a very large empire entirely composed of islands. 
One language is spoken throughout, not very difficult to learn. 
This country was discovered by the Portuguese eight or nine 
years ago. The Japanese are very ambitious of honours and 
distinctions, and think themselves superior to all nations in mili 
tary glory and valour. They prize and honour all that has to do 
with war, and all such things, and there is nothing of which 
they are so proud as of weapons adorned with gold and silver. 
They always wear swords and daggers both in and out of the 
house, and when they go to sleep they hang them at the bed s 
head. In short, they value arms more than any people I have 
ever seen. They are excellent archers, and usually fight on 
foot, though there is no lack of horses in the country. They 
are very polite to each other, but not to foreigners, whom they 

St. Francis Xavier. 

utterly despise. They spend their means on arms, bodily 
adornment, and on a number of attendants, and do not in the 
least care to save money. They are, in short, a very warlike 
people and engaged in continual wars among themselves ; the 
most powerful in arms bearing the most extensive sway. They 
have all one sovereign, although for one hundred and fifty 
years past the princes have ceased to obey him, and this is the 
cause of their perpetual feuds. 

In these countries there is a great number, both of men and 
of women, who profess a religious rule of life ; they are called 
bonzes and bonzesses. There are two sorts of bonzes the one 
wear a grey dress, the others a black one. There is great 
rivalry between them, the grey monks being set against the 
black ones, and accusing them of ignorance and bad morals. 
There are also two kinds of bonzesses- some wearing the grey 
dress, some the black ; they are subject to the bonzes of their 
own rule and colour. The number of these bonzes and bon 
zesses in Japan is immense, and almost incredible to those who 
have not seen it for themselves. I have heard on testimony 
worthy of belief that there is a sovereign in whose dominions 
there are eight hundred convents containing thirty persons at 
least, bonzes or bonzesses; there is an infinite number contain 
ing four, or six, or eight persons each ; and I am inclined to be 
lieve it, as far as my own observation goes. The system of the 
sects prevailing in Japan is derived from China, an empire 
which occupies the opposite continent. The Japanese have 
thence received written traditions concerning the founders of 
the different sects, who are said to have lived for two or even 
three thousand years in voluntary penances in complete soli 
tude. The principal of these are Xaca and Amida. 

There are altogether nine rules for both men and women, 
ail differing in their laws and precepts; each one is free to 
apply himself to that which he likes best. Hence it follows 
that under the same roof the husband, wife, and children belong 
to different sects : and generally speaking this custom occasions 
no disorder, every one being at liberty to live according to his 
own persuasion. Nevertheless disputes and controversies often 

Letter to Europe. 333 

exist among them, each person endeavouring to prove his own 
rule superior to the others, and sometimes they have been 
known to come to blows on the subject. 

All of these sects observe a wonderful silence about the 
creation of the world and of souls. They all speak of abodes 
of the virtuous and of the wicked ; but not one gives any ex 
planation of the nature of the place assigned to the good, nor 
by whose power it is that the souls of the wicked are cast down 
to hell. They confine themselves to holding up the example 
of the founders of the sects, who they say, for the redemption 
of an infinite number of human beings who do not expiate 
their sins by any suffering, have tormented themselves by un 
heard of severities, lasting for an immense length of time. 

At the same time they assert that all persons who, without 
having done penance for their sins, have invoked the fathers 
and founders of their sects, will be exempt from all suffering ; 
but that this is only the case when they invoke them with per 
fect confidence, and place all their trust in them. They are 
convinced that the intercession of these holy persons can actu 
ally snatch them out of hell. But the sects of which I speak 
tell numberless fables and prodigies concerning their founders, 
which are too long to relate. Some of them set forth 300, 
others 500 precepts ; but they all agree in this, that there are 
five principal and essential precepts which it is indispensable to- 
keep. The first is not to kill, and not to eat anything which 
has been killed ; the second is not to steal ; the third not to 
commit adultery; the fourth not to lie; the fifth to abstain 
from wine. These laws are common to all the sects. At the 
same time, the bonzes and the bonzesses, when preaching to 
the people about these laws, persuade them that profane per 
sons, occupied with worldly business, are unable themselves to- 
observe these five precepts ; but that they themselves are ready 
to make satisfaction for all the evil or inconvenience which 
may happen to them in consequence of breaking them, on con 
dition of the people giving them convents, yearly revenues, and 
money for all necessary uses : in short, of paying them every 
kind of honour and homage. These conditions being fulfilled 

334 S/. Francis Xavier. 

by the people, they engage to observe the whole law in their 
stead. The rich and noble of the country therefore, in order to 
enjoy a greater licence of sinning, give the bonzes everything 
they want. Hence the Japanese hold them in great veneration, 
as every one believes that by their prayers souls are delivered 
from hell, the bonzes having taken upon themselves to make 
satisfaction as to these laws for the whole people. 

On certain days the bonzes preach publicly. The sum of 
all their discourses is that none of the people will be con 
demned to hell, whatever may be the number of their past and 
present crimes, for the founders of their sects will take them 
out of the midst of those flames, if perchance they are con 
demned to them, especially if the bonzes who have made satis 
faction for them constitute themselves their intercessors. And 
indeed the bonzes boast greatly to the people of their own 
holiness, on the ground of their obedience to the five laws. 
At the same time, they also say that the poor who are unable 
to show kindness to the bonzes have no hope of escaping hell. 
And they say women are as badly off if they neglect the five pre 
cepts. For they say that each woman, on account of her monthly 
courses, is covered with more sins than all men put together, 
and that thus so foul a creature can hardly be saved. They go 
on to say that there is some hope even for women of escaping 
from the prison of hell, if they give a great deal more than the 
men to the bonzes. They further declare that persons who in their 
lifetime have given money to the bonzes will after their death re 
ceive ten times as much in the same coin, for the necessities of 
their new life ; and there are numbers of men and women who 
entrust considerable sums to the bonzes, in order to receive 
tenfold in the next world, and the bonzes give them a security 
in notes, which they write. The ignorant people have no hesi 
tation in believing in this multiplied interest on funds thus in 
vested. The notes of the bonzes are carefully preserved, and 
people about to die order them to be buried with them, in the 
belief that the devil will fly at sight of them. The bonzes have 
thousands of other impostures which I cannot speak of without 
pain. One thing is very amusing, that though they take money 

Letter to Europe. 335 

from everybody by way of alms, they themselves never give 
anything to any one. I omit, for the sake of brevity, the in 
finite number of ways they have of getting money given to 
them. But I cannot help grieving and feeling indignant at all 
the tribute the people pay to men like these, and all the honour 
in which they hold them. 

But to return to what we did in Japan. In the first place, 
we landed, as I told you, at Cagoxima, Paul s native place, 
where by his constant instructions he converted all his family to 
Jesus Christ, and where, but for the opposition of the bonzes, 
he would easily have converted the whole town also. The 
bonzes persuaded the King, whose authority extends over a 
good part of the country, that if he was to sanction the intro 
duction of the divine law into his dominions, the result would 
be infallibly the ruin, not only of his entire kingdom, but also 
of the worship of the gods and of the institutions of his an 
cestors ; and that he ought for the future to forbid any one 
becoming a Christian, on pain of death. 

After the lapse of a year, seeing this prince openly opposed 
to the progress of the Gospel, we bade farewell to our neo 
phytes at Cagoxima, and to Paul, in whose care we left them, 
and went on thence to a town in the kingdom of Amanguchi. 
Here a great number of persons having become converts to the 
Christian religion, I gave them Father Cosmo Torres to in 
struct them. I myself went on with Joam Fernandez to Aman 
guchi, the capital of the kingdom, an immense city containing 
more than ten thousand houses. Here we preached the Gospel 
to the people in the public streets, to the princes and nobles in 
their own residences. Many heard us eagerly, others with reluct 
ance. We did not always escape unhurt, having many insults 
offered us by the boys and the crowds in the streets. The king 
of the country summoned us to his presence, and, having asked 
the reason of our coming, invited us of his own accord to ex 
plain the law of God to him ; he listened to us with deep at 
tention for a whole hour while we spoke to him of religion. 

But as we saw but little fruit of our zeal and labours at 
Amanguchi, we went to Meaco, the metropolis of all Japan, 

336 St. Francis Xavier. 

and the seat of empire. This journey took two months, and 
after going through infinite fatigue and danger, we reached 
Meaco at last. It is said that Meaco formerly contained 
180,000 families; now, through the calamities of war, it only 
contains rather more than 100,000. In this city we could 
get no admittance to the sovereign ; and as we saw that the 
minds of the inhabitants were too much disturbed by the great 
troubles caused by the war to be inclined for discourses on re 
ligion, we at once returned to Amanguchi. 

The King was made favourable to us by the letters and 
presents sent by the Bishop and the Governors from India and 
Malacca, and we obtained from him without difficulty the pub 
lication of edicts declaring his approval of the promulgation of 
the divine law in the cities of his dominions, and permitting 
such of his subjects as pleased to embrace it. When he had 
done us this favour he also assigned a monastery to us for a 
residence. Here by means of daily sermons and disputes with 
the bonzes, the sorcerers, and other such men, we converted to 
the religion of Jesus Christ a great number of persons, several 
of whom were nobles. Amongst them we found some able to in 
form us, and we made it our business to gain acquaintance with 
the various sects and opinions of Japan, and so know how to 
refute them by arguments and proofs prepared for the purpose. 

The bonzes seeing themselves betrayed by their own ad 
herents and conquered in public disputes, were in the greatest 
trouble and bursting with indignation, especially because the 
new converts openly declared that they were induced to profess 
the Christian religion by perceiving that the bonzes, who were 
the teachers of the religion of their fathers, could not defend it. 

The Japanese doctrines teach absolutely nothing concerning 
the creation of the world, of the sun, the moon, the stars, the 
heavens, the earth, sea, and the rest, and do not believe that 
they have any origin but themselves. The people were greatly 
astonished on hearing it said that there is one sole Author and 
common Father of souls, by whom they were created. This 
astonishment was caused by the fact that in their religious tra 
ditions there is nowhere any mention of a Creator of the uni- 

Letter to Europe. 337 

verse. If there existed one single First Cause of all things, 
surely, they said, the Chinese, from whom they derive their 
religion, must have known it. For the Japanese give the Chinese 
the pre-eminence in wisdom and prudence in everything relat 
ing either to religion or to political government. They asked 
us a multitude of questions concerning this First Cause of all 
things ; whether He were good or bad, whether the same First 
Cause were the origin of good and of evil. We replied that 
there exists one only First Cause, and He supremely good, with 
out any admixture of evil. 

This did not satisfy them ; they considered the devils to be 
evil by nature, and the enemies of the human race; God there 
fore, if He were good, could never have done such a thing as 
create beings so evil. To these arguments we replied that the 
devils were created good by God, but became evil by their own 
fault, and that in consequence they were subject to eternal 
punishment and torment. Then they objected that God, Who 
was so severe in punishing, was not at all merciful. Again, 
how could He, if He created the human race in the manner we 
taught, allow men sent into the world to worship Him to be 
tempted and persecuted by the devil ? In like manner, if God 
were good, He ought not to have made man so weak and so 
prone to sin, but free from all evil. Again, it could not be a 
good God, they said, Who had created that horrible prison of 
hell, and be for ever without pity for those who suffer therein 
the most fearful torments for all eternity. Lastly, if He were 
good, He would not have imposed on men those difficult laws 
of the ten commandments. Their religious traditions, on the 
contrary, tiughtthat all who should invoke the authors of their 
religion would be delivered even from the torments of hell. 

They were quite unable to digest the idea that men could 
be cast into hell without any hope of deliverance. They said, 
therefore, that their doctrines rested, more than ours, on clem 
ency and mercy. In the end, by God s favour, we succeeded 
in solving all their questions, so as to leave no doubt remain 
ing in their mind. The Japanese are led by reason in every 
thing more than any other people, and in general they are all so 


33 8 St. Francis Xavier. 

insatiable of information and so importunate in their questions, 
that there is no end either to their arguments with us, or to 
their talking over our answers among themselves. They did 
not know that the world is round, they knew nothing of the 
course of the sun and stars, so that when they asked us and we 
explained to them these and other like things, such as the 
causes of comets, of the lightning, and of rain, they listened to 
us most eagerly, and appeared delighted to hear us, regarding 
us with profound respect as extremely learned persons. This 
idea of our great knowledge opened the way for sowing the 
seed of religion in their minds. 

Only one of the nine sects prevailing in Japan teaches that 
souls are mortal, but this sect is considered detestable by the 
followers of the rest. Its adherents are extremely vicious and 
corrupt, and cannot endure to hear hell mentioned. 

In the course of two months, after numerous conferences, 
we baptized about five hundred persons at Amanguchi, and 
every day, by the mercy of God, others are added to the num 
ber. The converts are very zealous in exposing to us the tricks 
and frauds of the bonzes and sects of Japan ; they show so 
diligently great affection and respect towards us that we have 
great confidence that they are true and solid Christians. 

Before their baptism the converts of Amanguchi were greatly 
troubled and pained by a hateful and annoying scruple that 
God did not appear to them merciful and good, because He had 
never made Himself known to the Japanese before our arrival, 
especially if it were true that those who had not worshipped 
God as we preached were doomed to suffer everlasting punish 
ment in hell. It seemed to them that He had forgotten and as 
it were neglected the salvation of all their ancestors in permit 
ting them to be deprived of the knowledge of saving truths, and 
thus to rush headlong on eternal death. It was this painful 
thought which, more than anything else, kept them back from 
the religion of the true God. But by the divine mercy all their 
error and scruple was taken away. We began by proving to 
them that the divine law is the most ancient of all. Before re 
ceiving their institutions from the Chinese, the Japanese knew 

Letter to Europe. 339 

by the teaching of nature that it was wicked to kill, to steal, to 
swear falsely, and to commit the other sins enumerated in the 
ten commandments, a proof of this being the remorse of con 
science to which any one guilty of one of these crimes was cer 
tain to be a prey. We showed them that reason itself teaches 
us to avoid evil and to do good, and that this is so deeply im 
planted in the hearts of men, that all have the knowledge of 
the divine law from nature and from God the Author of nature 
before they receive any external instruction on the subject. If 
any doubts were entertained on the matter, an experiment might 
be made in the person of a man without any instruction, living 
in absolute solitude, and in entire ignorance of the laws of his 
country. Such a man, ignorant of and a stranger to all human 
teaching, if he were asked whether it were or were not criminal 
to kill, to steal, or to commit the other actions forbidden by the 
law of God, and whether it were right to abstain from such 
actions, then, I say, this man, so fundamentally without all hu 
man education, would most certainly reply in such a manner as 
to show that he was by no means without knowledge of the 
divine law. Whence then must he be supposed to have re 
ceived this knowledge, but from God Himself, the Author of 
nature? And if this knowledge is seen among barbarians, what 
must be the case with civilized and polished nations ? This 
being so, it necessarily follow that before any laws were made 
by men the divine law existed innate in the hearts of all men. 
The converts were so satisfied with this reasoning, as to see 
no further difficulty; so that this net having been broken, 
they received from us with a glad heart the sweet yoke of our 

But our greatest enemies are the bonzes, because we expose 
their falsehoods. As I have said, they used to make the people 
believe that it is impossible for persons in general to keep those 
five commandments which I mentioned, and that, therefore, they 
would observe them for the people, on condition of the people 
giving them maintenance and honour. They give their word 
that if any one has to go down into hell he will be delivered 
by their intervention and labour. We, on the contrary, proved 

34 St. Francis Xavier. 

to the people that in hell there is no redemption, 6 and that no 
one can be rescued from it by the bonzes and bonzesses. Con 
vinced by our arguments, the people complained that the bonzes 
had deceived them. At last, by the help of God, the bonzes 
themselves were forced to confess the truth that they could not 
save any one from the punishment of hell by their prayers, but 
that unless they gave out that they had this power, they would 
infallibly be reduced to die of hunger. 

And indeed, soon after this, the bonzes, as the assistance 
they received from their disciples gradually failed, experienced 
great difficulties as to their maintenance, and had to live in a 
state of degradation. We have had such sharp disputes with 
them on the subject of hell, that it does not seem likely that 
they will ever be reconciled to us. A great number have already 
left their rule and returned to secular life ; and these men ex 
pose to us the frauds and tricks of the bonzes who live in the 
convents. Thus (at Amanguchi, at least) the credit of the 
bonzes and bonzesses diminishes much every day. The Chris 
tians have assured me that of a hundred convents which there 
used to be there, a great part will soon cease to exist, being 
deprived of the alms of the inhabitants. 

Formerly the bonzes and bonzesses who had broken one of 
their five precepts were punished with death by the princes 
and nobles of the places where they lived, whether they were 
found guilty of offences against morals, or theft, or of falsehood, 
or whether they had committed homicide, or caused the death 
of any living creature, or eaten flesh of such, or drunk wine. 
But at present this discipline is entirely relaxed and corrupted ; 
the greater number drink wine, eat meat secretly, make a trade 
of lies, openly indulge in fornication, and commonly have boys 
living with them, whom they corrupt in the flower of their 
youth. This they themselves profess, and they declare it to be 
no sin, and the people on their authority indulge in the same 
abominable crime. They commonly say that if it is lawful for 
the bonzes, why not for secular people? Besides this, they 
keep a number of women in their monasteries, who they say 
Lat. Orig. In infertio nullam esse redemptionem. 

Letter to Europe. 341 

are the wives of the men who till their farms. This gives great 
scandal to the people, who look with suspicion on the great in 
tercourse the bonzes have with the women. The bonzes also 
visit the bonzesses at all hours, for purposes of business, and re 
ceive visits from them in the same way. The people look on 
this with an evil eye. They say there is a certain herb which 
the bonzesses eat that they may not become pregnant. For my 
part, it does not astonish me that the bonzes are covered with 
so many and so great sins. They are a set of men who have 
the devil in the place of God, and it is a matter of necessity 
that they should commit crimes innumerable and abominable. 

All the Japanese use a long rosary of beads in their pray 
ers, invoking the founder of their sect at each bead. The dif 
ferent sects recite their series of prayers, some more frequently, 
others more seldom. The principal founders of the religions, 
as we have mentioned, are Xaca and Amida. The grey bonzes 
and bonzesses and most of the people chiefly venerate Amida; 
the rest of the people do not leave Amida out, but render 
most honour to Xaca. I have carefully inquired whether this 
Xaca and Amida were persons celebrated for their wisdom, 
and have begged the Christians to give me an account of their 
lives in writing. At last I have discovered from their books 
that they were not men at all, for they are said to have lived a 
thousand or even two thousand years. Xaca was born eighty 
thousand times over ; and many other such things are handed 
down by tradition about them which can never have happened. 
So that I conclude that they were not men, but mere inventions 
or portents of the devil. 

I earnestly beg all who read this letter of mine, by the zeal 
they have for the propagation of the worship of God, to pray 
that our Lord Jesus Christ will give us the victory over these 
two demons Xaca and Amida, and over the others like them, 
especially since at present their credit is waxing weak at Aman- 
guchi, not without the special providence of God. A principal 
nobleman of this kingdom and his wife, a person of great merit, 
have shown us so much affection, that their efforts have never 
been wanting to us in spreading our divine religion ; but al- 

342 St. Francis Xavier. 

though they both know its truth, they can neither of them be 
induced to embrace it. Their reason is that they have built at 
their own expense a great many monasteries for bonzes, and 
assigned them revenues in order that the bonzes may con 
stantly pray to Amida to preserve them from the calamities 
and miseries of this life, and bring them one day to that hap 
piness which he himself enjoys. 

These two gave a hundred reasons besides for not becoming 
Christians; but the principal was that having always been great 
worshippers of Xaca and Amida, and having given for their 
sakes large gifts to the bonzes, and built a great number of 
monasteries, they would, if they were to pass over to the Chris 
tian religion, lose the accumulated good of so many years of 
devotion, and all the fruit of their past life. They are con 
vinced that all the money they have given to the bonzes in the 
names of Xaca and Amida will be returned to them with large 
interest after their death, together with an abundant recom 
pense of their worship and devotion. So, not to lose these ad 
vantages, they steadily refuse to be converted to Jesus Christ. 

The Japanese believe that in .the abode of the blessed there 
will be splendid banquets and all the good things of life in 
plenty and elegance, so that the more pleasing a person has 
been to Xaca and Amida, the higher he will be in greatest 
glory. All these stories make up the mysteries and fables of 
the bonzes, who, with the object of destroying the effects of 
our preaching, used to preach themselves in their own temples, 
and most shamefully revile both us and our God in the midst 
of a vast multitude of hearers. The God of the Christians, 
they said, is something unknown and unheard of; He can only 
be the greatest and most abominable of devils. We were the 
disciples of this demon, so that every one should take care not 
to embrace the faith of Jesus Christ, for that no sooner should 
He be adored as God than Japan will perish. They also 
made a captious interpretation of the name of God, saying that 
it is the same as Diusa, which in their language means a lie ; 
so let them look to themselves, and be diligently on their guard 
against us. 

Letter to Europe. 345 

Such and many other such impious calumnies they uttered 
against God, Who nevertheless, in His infinite mercy and cle 
mency, turned all to His own glory and to the good of souls. In 
fact their false charges against us increased our authority with 
the people, and the number of our Lord s worshippers was 
daily swelled. The people saw clearly, and said openly tha 
the jealousy of the bonzes was the cause of their accusations 
against us. 

I have tried long and diligently in this country to discover 
from all indications whether the Japanese have ever had the 
knowledge of Jesus Christ, and I have at last found from theii 
books and conversations that they have never heard anything 
at all of Him. At Cagoxima, where we remained a year, 1 
noticed that the prince and his relations had a white cross in 
the armorial bearings of their family, but that they were entirely 
ignorant of the name of Jesus Christ. 

When I was at Amanguchi with Father Cosmo Torres and 
Joam Fernandez, the King of Boungo, one of the most powerful 
of the country, wrote to ask me to go to him ; a Portuguese 
vessel had come into his harbour, and he wished to talk with 
me on certain subjects. So, both to find out how he was 
affected towards our holy religion, and to pay a visit to the 
Portuguese, I set out at once for Boungo, leaving Cosmo and 
Joam with the Christians. The King gave me a most gracious 
reception, and it was a great pleasure to me to meet with the 
Portuguese. While I was at Boungo the devil stirred up a great 
war at Amanguchi. A powerful nobleman declared war against 
the King, drove him from his capital, and stripped him of his 
dominins. The latter seeing no way of escape, and not 
choosing to fall alive into the hands of a furious adversary, so 
lately his subject and servant, plunged a dagger into his bowels, 
and killed himself, at the same time causing his son who was 
with him to be put to death, and ordering both bodies to 
be burned, that the enemy might find no remains to insult. 
All was done as he ordered. You may judge from the letters 
written to me by our brethren at Amanguchi, which I send 
you, how great was the peril they incurred in that war. After 

344 St. francis Xavier. 

the King s death, the nobles and grandees of the kingdom 
having successfully ended the war, and seeing that the state of 
Amanguchi could not stand without a sovereign, sent ambas 
sadors to the King of Boungo, begging him to send his own 
brother to Amanguchi, whom they would make king. The King 
of course complied with their request, and so his brother be 
came King of Amanguchi. The King of Boungo commands 
numerous and very warlike troops, and as things go with Ja 
panese kings, has vast dominions to govern. He has a great 
liking for the Portuguese. No sooner was he informed of the 
power and character of the King of Portugal than he wrote to 
him asking to be admitted into the number of his friends, and 
sending him a rich suit of armour as a token of friendship. 
He has also sent an envoy to the Viceroy of India, offering 
him with many compliments his friendship, alliance, and good 
offices; this messenger, who came to India with me, has been 
most honourably and liberally received by the Viceroy. Before 
I left Japan, the King of Boungo promised the Portuguese 
and myself to take Cosmo Torres and Joam Fernandez under 
his protection. The sovereign elect of Amanguchi bound him 
self in the same way, when he enters into the possession of his 

During our residence in Japan, that is to say for two years 
and a half, we lived at the expense of the munificent King of 
Portugal. His Highness had ordered more than a thousand 
gold crowns to be given to us as alms for our journey to Japan. 
It is incredible how much this excellent monarch has favoured 
us, and how much he has spent and daily continues to spend 
on our colleges and residences, and for the supply of all our 

I had been some time at Boungo, when the opportune pre 
sence of the Portuguese vessel invited me to give up the idea of 
returning to Amanguchi ; and I made up my mind to sail from 
Boungo for India, in order, after so long a separation, to re 
visit our fathers and brothers, and to provide members of the 
Society fitted for the work of cultivating the Japanese mission, 
as well as other necessary things quite wanting out there. I 

Letter to Europe. 345 

reached Cochin on the 24th January, and I was received in 
the kindest manner by the Governor. Next April some fathers 
will be sent to Japan from India, and the King of Boungo s 
ambassador will return home in their company. I have very 
great hopes that, by the favour of Jesus Christ, there will be a 
plentiful harvest in these countries ; for a nation so ingenious, 
moderate, so desirous of instruction, so much guided by right 
reason and so well adorned with other eminent qualities, ought 
to be, as it were, a rich and fertile field from whence copious 
and joyful results may be expected. 

The university of Bandou, situated in an island of Japan, 
which has given its name to its country, is the most famous of 
all ; and a great number of bonzes are constantly going thither 
to study their own laws. These precepts are derived from 
China and are written in Chinese characters, which are differ 
ent from the Japanese. There are two kinds of writing in 
Japan, one used by men and the other by women; and for the 
most part both men and women, especially of the nobility and 
the commercial class, have a literary education. The bonzes, 
or bonzesses, in their monasteries teach letters to the girls and 
boys, though rich and noble persons entrust the education of 
their children to private tutors. 

The bonzes are persons of acute mind, and are very fond 
of studying, especially what relates to the future ; they are fond 
of considering what will happen to them, what will be their 
end, and all questions of this nature. There were some of the 
bonzes who, in the course of their meditations, had come to 
believe that there was no way of saving souls in their system. 
They argued in this way : It is necessary above all things that 
there should exist a single origin of all things ; now, in their 
books there is not a word on the subject, for there is a won 
derful silence in them all as to the creation of the universe; 
and therefore if any of their predecessors were acquainted with 
this first principle a thing not confirmed by any authority, 
written or traditional they must have kept the knowledge to 
themselves and hid it from their descendants. 

Now, men of this sort were wonderfully delighted with the 

346 St. Francis Xavier. 

divine law. One of them embraced the faith of Jesus Christ 
at Amanguchi, after being many years in the university of Ban- 
dou, where he had a flourishing reputation for learning. Before 
we came to Japan he had thought of becoming a bonze; after 
wards he changed his mind and married. The reason he as 
signed for this change was, that he had seen the falsehood and 
emptiness of the Japanese religions, and therefore did not be 
lieve in them at all, but he was bound to pay his homage to 
the Author and Creator of the universe. Our Christians were 
overjoyed at his accession, for he was and was thought to be 
the most learned man of the city. 

Later on, if God wills, fresh members of the Society will be 
sent to Japan every year, and a house of the Society will be es 
tablished at Amanguchi, where the fathers will learn the lan 
guage of the country, and acquaint themselves with the doc 
trines and rules of the different sects. By these means the 
good and learned members of the Society who are to come 
hither from Portugal to aid the university of Bandou, will find 
brothers there acquainted with the language and the religions of 
Japan. This will be an immense advantage to the European 
fathers to whose lot this mission may fall. 

At present Cosmo Torres and Joam Fernandez are entirely 
occupied in teaching the mysteries of our religion, and in 
preaching to the people on the wonderful deeds of our Lord. 
Many of their hearers are so affected by the history of the life 
of Jesus Christ, that they cannot hear the account of His pas 
sion and death without weeping and tears. Cosmo writes the 
sermons in our language, and Fernandez, who knows that of the 
country well enough, translates them into Japanese. Through 
their labours the Christians are advancing greatly in piety. The 
converts, who used formerly to recite that series of prayers on 
their beads, invoking each the founder of his own sect on the 
several beads, have now learnt how to worship Jesus Christ, 
and are being formed in piety, and change their old supersti 
tions into prayers in the honour of God. 

They are so attentive and anxious for information in matters 
of this sort, that when taught to make the sign of the Cross, 

Letter to Europe. 347 

they insist on understanding what is the meaning of the words, 
* In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghosf why, as the right hand is lifted to the head, we say, 
1 In the name of the Father; why, when it is lowered to the 
breast, we add, And of the Son; 1 and why, lastly, when it is 
moved from the left to the right shoulder, we say, And of the 
Holy Ghost. They are delighted with the explanation of all 
these things. When they are taught to say, Kyrie eleison, 
Christe eleison] they want to know the meaning of the words. 
And in saying our Lady s rosary, after the Angelical Saluta 
tion, at each small bead they repeat the names of Jesus and 
Mary as an invocation. They learn all these, as well as the 
other prayers and the Creed, by degrees, out of a written copy. 

One of the things that most of all pains and torments these 
Japanese is, that we teach them that the prison of hell is irre 
vocably shut, so that there is no egress therefrom. For they 
grieve over the fate of their departed children, of their parents 
and relatives, and they often show their grief by their tears. So 
they ask us if there is any hope, any way to free them by 
prayer from that eternal misery, and I am obliged to answer 
that there is absolutely none. Their grief at this affects and 
torments them wonderfully ; they almost pine away with sorrow. 
But there is this good thing about their trouble, it makes one 
hope that they will all be the more laborious for their own sal 
vation, lest they, like their forefathers, should be condemned to 
everlasting punishment. They often ask if God cannot take 
their fathers out of hell, and why their punishment must never 
have an end. We gave them a satisfactory answer, but they 
did not cease to grieve over the misfortune of their relatives ; 
and I can hardly restrain my tears sometimes at seeing men so 
dear to my heart suffer such intense pain about a thing which 
is already done with and can never be undone. 

Opposite to Japan lies China, an immense empire, enjoying 
profound peace, and which, as the Portuguese merchants tell 
us, is superior to all Christian states in the practice of justice 
and equity. The Chinese whom I have seen in Japan and 
elsewhere, and whom I got to know, are white in colour, like 

348 St. Francis Xavier. 

the Japanese, are acute, and eager to learn. Their intellect is 
superior even to the Japanese. Their country abounds in plenty 
of all things, and very many cities of great extent cover its sur 
face. The cities are very populous; the houses ornamented 
with stone roofings, and very elegant. All reports say that the 
empire is rich in every sort of produce, but especially in silk. 
I find, from the Chinese themselves, that amongst them may 
be found many people of many different nations and religions, 
and, as far as I could gather from what they said, I suspect that 
among them are Jews and Mahometans. 

Nothing leads me to suppose that there are Christians there. 
I hope to go there during this year, 1552, and penetrate even 
to the Emperor himself. China is that sort of kingdom, that if 
the seed of the Gospel is once sown, it may be propagated far 
and wide. And moreover, if the Chinese accept the Christian 
faith, the Japanese would give up the doctrines which the 
Chinese have taught them. Japan is separated from Liampou 
(which is a principal town in China) by a distance of about 
300 miles of sea. I am beginning to have great hopes that 
God will soon provide free entrance to China, not only to our 
Society, but to religious of all Orders, that a large field may be 
laid open to pious and holy men of all sorts, in which there 
may be great room for devotion and zeal, in recalling men who 
are now lost to the way of truth and salvation. I again and 
again beg all who have a zeal for the spreading of the Christian 
faith to help by their holy sacrifices and prayers these poor 
efforts of mine, that I may throw open an ample field to their 
pious labours. 

I have nothing to say concerning India : the brothers there 
are charged to render you an account of what is going on there. 
I have just returned hither from Japan, bringing back a suffici 
ent amount of bodily strength, but hardly any strength in virtue 
and spirit ; but I place all my confidence in the goodness of 
God and the infinite merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, that I 
may bring to its accomplishment, as I have designed it, this 
most irksome voyage to China. My hair has become quite 
white, but I am as active and robust as I ever was in my life. 

Letter to Europe. 349 

The labours which are undergone for the conversion of a 
people so rational, so desirous to know the truth and be saved, 
result in very sweet fruit to the soul. Even at Amanguchi, 
when the King allowed us to preach the faith and a vast con 
course of people gathered round us, I had so much joy and 
vigour and delight of heart, as I never experienced in my life 
before. I saw how by means of our ministry the spirit of the 
bonzes was broken down by God, and the most glorious victory 
over most formidable enemies was gained. I delighted also to 
see the joy of our neophytes at the defeat of the bonzes, and 
their evident zeal to attack the pagans and draw them to bap 
tism, as well as their exultation when the battle was won, as they 
talked over their victories among themselves, when the super 
stitions of the heathen were put to flight. These things made 
me so overflow with joy, that I lost all sense of suffering. 

Would to God that these divine consolations which God 
so graciously gives us in the midst of our labours might not 
only be related by me, but also some experience of them be 
sent to our European Universities, to be tasted as well as heard 
of! Then many of those young men given up to study would 
turn all their cares and desires to the conversion of infidels, if 
they could once taste the delight of the heavenly sweetness which 
comes from such labours, and if the world knew and was aware 
how well the souls of the Japanese are prepared to receive the 
Gospel, I am sure that many learned men would finish their 
studies, canons, priests, and prelates even, would abandon their 
rich livings, to change an existence full of bitterness and anxiety 
for so sweet and pleasant a life. And to gain this happiness they 
would not hesitate to set sail even to Japan. 

As I arrived at Cochin at the time the ships were about to 
depart, and as the great number of friends who have come to 
salute me have frequently interrupted me in the midst of my 
letter, I have written in great haste and with much disturbance. 
So now I will end though I know not how to end when I am 
writing to my dearest fathers and brothers, and about my joys 
in Japan too, the greatness of which I could never express, how 
ever much I might wish to do so. I end my letter then, begging 

35 St. Francis Xavier. 

and imploring God to vouchsafe to unite us some day in the 
bliss of heaven. Amen. 

The least of your brothers in Jesus Christ, 
Cochin, 29th January 1552. FRANCIS. 

It would be tedious, as we have already said, to attempt 
to compare all the statements made by Francis Xavier in his ac 
count of Japan with later information on the same subject. 
What we can discover as to the names of the national deities as 
they sounded in his ears, illustrates sufficiently the confusion 
which the great mixture of religions in the country had thrown 
not only into the accounts given to strangers, but probably 
over the minds of the people themselves. Xaca must be taken to 
represent Sakya-mouni, or Buddha. Amida seems to be the 
personification of the old Japanese idea of a supreme divinity, 
represented under nine different forms which symbolized his 
essential perfections. 7 If we go back to the names as given in 
the disputes with Fucarandono, we find Gizon and Canom 
placed side by side with Xaca and Amida. Gizon may per 
haps be Izanami, the goddess whose mirror plays so important a 
part in the worship of the Kamis, and Canom the subordinate 
deity who has the most frequented temple in Yeddo, as also 
the famous temple at Kioto of the 33,333 idols. 8 

Before we take final leave of Japan in this volume, we may 
mention for the last time the good Paul of the holy Faith. We 
have a short letter from him written to the College at Goa in 
1549, at the time when everything seemed favourable atCagoxi- 
ma, and sent with the first letters of Francis Xavier from that 
city. Paul simply asks for prayers and relates the conversion of 
his kinsfolk. He begs that his friends in India will intercede for 
them that they may persevere, since it is not enough for our 
salvation to begin to serve God, but we must persevere unto the 
end. Though we are far apart in body, it seems to me that we 

7 See Humbert, Japan Illustrt, t. i. p. 264. 

8 Ibid. t. i. p. 150 and 265. Sir Rutherford Alcock speaks of the 
temple of Quanwon at Asaska, the suburb of Yeddo. The idol there has 
thirty-six arms, to express the power of the supposed deity. Capital of the 
Tycoon, ii. 307. 

The Japanese Christians. 351 

are always united in spirit, and in body also we shall be united 
in the day of judgment, when we shall all live again may God 
grant that it be to reign with Jesus Christ ! Mendez Pinto 
tells us that Paul was obliged to go into exile by the persecu 
tions of the bonzes some months after Francis Xavier left him, 
that he went to China and was murdered by robbers near 
Liampou. But the Christians over whom he had been set in 
charge remained firm and constant under all trials, not the 
least of which was the entire want of priests and religious 
teachers. They had been thoroughly instructed, and possessed 
the summary of Christian doctrine which Francis had left them. 
Many years after this, when they came to be visited for the first 
time by a priest, they were found to have kept up their faith 
and religion in great purity. This statement will surprise no 
one who is familiar with the annals of Catholic missions, and 
the fact which it records is typical of the history of the Church 
of Japan. It is now believed that when in our time Japan was 
partially opened to Europeans so many generations after the 
great persecution of Christianity which seemed to have drowned 
it in blood, and when no Catholic priest had been in the country 
for more than two centuries, there were still communities of 
Christians who had kept up their practice of the Gospel law, the 
Catholic Creed, and the administration of baptism. And even 
the renewed persecution of the present day will not, as we may 
confidently hope in God s mercy, avail to stamp out in this noble, 
intelligent, and faithful race the remains of the religion of 
Jesus Christ, so long ago painfully planted in the soil of Japan 
by the modern Apostle of the East. 


Voyage from "Japan to India. 

WE have already seen that the voyages of Francis Xavier were 
generally marked by some extraordinary victory of his charity, 
or some indication of the prophetic gifts with which he was 
from time to time endowed. This homeward voyage from 
Japan, in the last weeks of 1551, became more famous in the 
East than any other of which we have spoken; and in this case 
we happen to have abundance of the most unexceptionable tes 
timony as to the efficacy of his prayers and the blessing which 
his presence seemed to cause to all who were in his company. 
The vessel in which he embarked at the port of Figi was bound 
for Canton, or rather for the island of San Chan, which was the 
station where the Portuguese traffic with Canton was carried on. 
Mendez Pinto, whom we shall find more at home on nautical 
subjects than on the theological questions discussed between 
Francis Xavier and the bonzes in the presence of the King of 
Boungo, was, as has been said, one of the Portuguese passen 
gers on board the ship in which Francis embarked. Mendez 
tells us how at first they hugged the Japanese coast for some 
time, and then struck across the open sea in the direction of 
China. After a week, however, the moon changed, and the wea 
ther changed in consequence. A violent storm fell on the vessel, 
and she was obliged to put about and run before the wind in a 
north-north-westerly direction through an unknown sea which 
no one had ever yet navigated, as Mendez says. For five days 
they were at the mercy of the storm, and saw neither sun nor 
star, and the helmsman lost all reckoning. 1 On the second day 
of the five something had to be done to clear the deck of all 

1 Mendez says that they were running towards Papua, Celebes, or Min 
danao, which hardly seem to lie in a northern or north-westerly direction 
from their course, and are sufficiently widely apart one from another. 

The Storm. 353 

encumbrances, 2 and the ship s boat was secured at the stern, 
fastened by two strong cables, with fifteen men in her. Night 
came on, and they were unable to get on board the ship again. 
Francis Xavier was the life of the whole party during the storm, 
working himself in clearing the decks, encouraging and com 
forting the rest. After God, says Mendez, he alone was the 
captain who encouraged us, and made us take breath so as not 
to sink under the labours and abandon ourselves entirely to 
chance, as some wished to do if he had not hindered them. 
About midnight loud cries to God for mercy were heard from 
the boat : the ropes by which she was held to the ship had 
given way, and she was left behind in a moment. The cap 
tain s nephew, a lad whom he loved most tenderly, was with 
the party in the boat, and his uncle endeavoured to get the 
ship round in order to seek for the boat. The result was the 
imminent danger of the vessel herself ; she lay across the waves, 
was deluged by the heavy seas, and was almost swamped. At 
the moment of greatest peril Francis was on his knees in the 
captain s cabin, and he called aloud on Jesus Christ, the Love 
of his soul, to succour them, for the sake of the five wounds 
which He had suffered on the Cross. The ship righted and got 
once more before the wind, but the boat was lost to sight. 
Francis Xavier, however, bade them to be of good cheer, as 
within three days the daughter would come back to the mother 
by which words, say the Auditors of the Rota, who have 
summed up the evidence from the sworn witnesses examined in 
the Processes, he signified darkly that the boat would return 
to the ship. He is said to have been especially anxious to 
save two Mussulmans, who were in the boat with the rest. 
When daylight came, nothing could be discerned from the 
ship but the sea covered with foam. The rest of the story 
we may give chiefly in Mendez Pinto s own words, though 

II fut resolu de rompre toutes les oeuvres du chapiteau jusqu au tillac, 
afin que pas ce moyen le navire fut plus a son aise, et qu il fut mieux obeye 
au gouvernail. Mendez Pinto (French translation, t. iii. p. 422). Some 
writers understand the chapiteau to be the forecastle. It appears that 
the object was to cut away all the upperworks, which might have retained 
any heavy seas which flooded the deck. 


354 St. Francis Xavier. 

his account has often to be completed by that of other eyewit 

It was a little more than an hour after daylight, when the 
blessed Father Xavier, who had retired to the captain s cabin, 
came on deck, where were the master, the pilot, and seven 
other Portuguese. After having given good-day to all with a 
joyous and serene countenance, he asked them if they did not 
see the boat approaching, to which answer was made No ; and 
then he asked the master pilot to send one of the sailors aloft 
to see if he could not discover it. At the same time one of 
those present said, " It will appear when we have lost another 
like it." On which the Father answered him : " O, Pedro Velho" 
such was his name " O, Pedro Velho, how little faith you 
have! What! think you that anything is impossible to ourj 
Lord ? For me, I have so much confidence in Him and in His 
most sacred Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom I have 
promised that I will say three masses in her blessed house of! 
the Mount at Malacca, that I hope that they will prevent the 
souls which are in that boat from perishing." At which words 
Pedro Velho was so confounded and astonished that he said 
nothing more. However, the master pilot, to satisfy the re- 
quest which the Father had just made him, went up himself, 
with another sailor to the top, when, after having looked round 
on every side for nearly half an hour, they made their report 
that nothing appeared. On which the Father answered, "Come 
down then, since there is nothing more to be done;" and hav 
ing called me to the forecastle- where he then was, very sad as 
far as we all could judge, he told me that I would oblige him if I 
warmed a little water for him that he might drink it, as he had 
a weakness of stomach. But I was so unhappy that my sins 
hindered me from doing him this good turn, because the day 
before, when the hurricane came on, they had thrown the stove 
overboard to lighten the deck. Then he complained to me 
that he had a great pain in his head, on account of the sick 
ness which came on him from time to time ; and I answered 
him : " It cannot be otherwise than that your Reverence should 

3 Chapitertu. Mende/ 1 inio. 

The Storm. 355 

be so indisposed, because for three nights you have not slept 
and you have not eaten a single morsel," for one of the ser 
vants of Duarte de Gama had so told me. " I assure you, re 
plied the Father, " that I am sorry for the unhappiness of this 
young man, to see him so disconsolate ; for all the last night, 
after the boat was lost, he never ceased weeping for the loss of 
Alonzo Calvo his nephew, who is in it with the rest of his com 
panions." Seeing, then, that the Father was yawning every mo 
ment, I said to him, " Your Reverence would do well, meseems, 
to retire awhile into my little cabin, for perhaps you might get 
some rest;" an otter which he accepted, saying, " So be it, then, 
for the love of God." Thereon he begged me much to send a 
Chinese servant whom I had to shut the door after him, and 
not to stir, in order that he might open it for him when he 
railed ; and this he said to me about six or seven o clock. 
After having retired into my cabin, he remained there all day 
until sunset, and as I once happened to call my servant who 
was at the door, as I said, to ask him to give me a little water, 
I inquired of him also whether the Father was asleep ? " He 
has not slept at all," he answered, " and he is still on his knees 
on the couch weeping, with his head down." On which I told 
him to go back and sit at the door, and go to him as soon as 
he called him. In this way the Father remained unceasingly 
engaged in prayer until sunset, and then at last left the cabin, 
;ind came to where all the Portuguese were sitting down on the 
deck under the bulwarks, on account of the great rockings and 
rollings of the ship. 

After having saluted them, the Father asked of the pilot if 
the boat was to be seen ? To which the other answered that 
naturally it was impossible but that it had been lost amid such 
high seas ; and that even supposing that it pleased God to save 
it by a miracle, it was more than fifty leagues off. " So it 
seems naturally," said the Father; "but I should be very glad, 
since nothing could be lost by that, if you would go up aloft 
.again, or send some sailor up, who might cast his eyes over the 
whole surface of the sea." The pilot told him that he would 
very willingly go; and he went up with the master s mate, more 

356 St. Francis Xavier. 

to satisfy the desire of the Father than from any thought he had 
of being reasonably able to discover what he wished. They 
were both up there a good long time, and at last they affirmed 
that they had seen nothing at all over the whole sea. This 
grieved the Father very much, as all could judge, so that he 
bent his head upon the bulwark, and was for some time sighing 
as if he would fain shed tears. Then after he had taken a little 
breath, as if to try to rest under the sadness which he felt, he 
raised his hands to heaven and said, with tears in his eyes, " O, 
Jesus Christ, my true God and Lord, by the merits of Thy 
sacred death and passion, I pray Thee to have pity on us, and 
to save the souls of the faithful who are gone astray in that boat !" 
Then he leant his head again upon the bulwark and remain 
ed so for the space of two or three Credos, as if he were asleep; 
and then a little boy, who was seated up in the shrouds, began 
to cry, " Miracle ! miracle ! here is our boat !" All those of 
the ship came running at these words, and at that same mo 
ment they saw the boat on the sea, not farther than a gunshot 
off, a little more or less; insomuch that astonished at a thing so 
new and extraordinary, they began all in a throng to weep like 
children, so that they could not hear one another in the ship 
for the loud cries that they made. They all came to the Father 
to throw themselves at his feet ; but he would not permit it, 
and retired into the cabin of the captain and shut himself up 
inside that no one might speak to him. All those who were in 
the boat were immediately received into the ship, with all the 
rejoicing and happiness which was natural in such a case. And 
therefore I forbear now to relate here the particulars of this wel 
come, because it is a thing which can better be imagined than 
written. And so after the little time was over which remained 
before it was full night, which came about half an hour afterwards, 
the Father sent a little boy for the pilot, and told him to praise 
God who had done these marvels, and that he should at once 
get the ship ready, because the bad weather would soon end. 
So at once all was done to satisfy the Father s desire with 
all possible diligence, and at the same time were performed 
the devotions which he enjoined ; and it followed that before 

Return of the Boat. 357 

the great yard was hoisted and the sails set, the hurricane ceased 
entirely, so that we found a good wind from the north, and con 
tinued our voyage to the joy and contentment of every one. 4 

This is what Mendez Pinto tells us of this famous miracle. 
His memory was doubtless accurate as far as it went, but he 
seems to have omitted one or two circumstances which other 
witnesses have recorded. The first of these is that Francis 
Xavier, when he came on deck after his many hours of prayer 
in the cabin, insisted on sail being shortened, in order to slacken 
the speed at which the vessel was running before the wind. 
The large sail was therefore lowered, and the crew as well as 
the Father had to suffer the severe tossing of the vessel which 
was the consequence for some considerable time. The other 
accounts 5 tell us that at last the men got impatient, the master 
gave orders to hoist the sail, but Francis would not allow it, 
that he bent his head down on the yard and wept and sobbed, 
as Mendez tells us in the text. Another circumstance omitted 
by Mendez is that when the boat appeared in sight, it was seen 
to come straight on the ship as if steered by an invisible hand, 
notwithstanding the roughness of the sea, and that when it 
touched the side, it stopped as of itself. Finally, a number 
of witnesses swore that when the party from the boat came on 
board, they declared that they had had Father Francis with 
them all the time, that he had been their only support and 
guide and comfort, and that his presence had inspired them 
with so much courage and serenity that they had been free from 
all alarm. It is certain that the two Mussulmans were con 
verted by the miracle, and received baptism. 6 

4 Mendez Pinto, t. iii.p. 430. 

4 Summed up by Bartoli, Asia, t. i. p. 277. 

6 The evidence for this celebrated miracle is epitomized in the A da(i\>, 
to which we have before referred. The Rdalio tells the story in the first in 
stance (without adding the circumstance of the bilocation of Francis) on the 
authority of Duarte Gama ( vir nobilis et regice clomiis patritius ), Galeotto 
Pereira ( regiiK domus patritius ), Antonio Martinez, a sea captain, Antonio 
Diaz, the man who went aloft to look out all of whom were present and 
gave their testimony juridically. There were forty-eight other witnesses de 
ir/K/ifu, many of whom had heard eyewitnesses tell the story. After proving 
that the fact was miraculous, the A t-/afio goes on to say, Many of the wit 
nesses and writers add that Xavier appeared to those who were in the boat, 

St. Francis Xavier. 

The ship arrived soon after at San Chan, but it was much 
shattered by the storm, and moreover was to spend the winter 
in a port of Siam instead of sailing straight for Malacca. But 
two other Portuguese ships were still at San Chan, having waited 
for a fortnight for a favourable wind to take them to Malacca. 
One of them was the ship of Diego Pereira, the intimate friend 
of Francis Xavier. Pereira offered him a passage to Malacca : 
and Francis at once embarked, taking an affectionate leave of 
the good Portuguese merchants who had been of so much sup 
port to him in his difficulties in the kingdom of Boungo. It 
was noted that as soon as he set foot on Pereira s ship the wind 
became favourable. They sailed for Malacca immediately. Dur 
ing this voyage it was that Francis matured his plan for an at 
tempt to introduce Christianity into China. The letter which 
was inserted at the end of the last chapter shows how much 
his thoughts were now turned in this direction. He was bent 
upon furnishing the Japanese mission with learned as well as 
pious workmen, men who could defend their religion intellec 
tually and meet the subtle difficulties suggested by the bonzes, 
as well as preach to the people by example as much as by word 
of mouth. Meanwhile, he would himself cut at the root, as it 
were, of the Japanese objections by bringing about, if it were 
possible, the conversion of that great, intelligent, cultivated, and 
peaceful empire which seems to have attracted his imagination 
from the first moment that he heard of its influence over the 
rest of the Eastern nations. The boldness with which Francis 
Xavier always aimed at accomplishing his work thoroughly, 
even though to do so involved the most arduous enterprise, as 
well as the temporary suspension of his own activity on what 
happened for the moment to be the frontier, so to speak, of the 
advancing kingdom of the faith, is thoroughly characteristic of 
him, and is one of the numberless points in which we find his 
spirit so identical with that of the father of his soul, St. Ignatius. 

tossed about by the waves, and in the utmost danger, and that when they 
were taken up into the ship they told the sailors and passengers that Xavier 
had been all the time with them in the boat, and had kept her up in the 
midst of the seas, and that they were filled with astonishment when they 
found that at the same time he had been in the ship. 

Plans for China. 359 

We shall find that Ignatius soon after this time was intending 
to recal Francis himself from the East for a time necessarily by 
no means short, on account of the immense distance which he 
would have had to travel, in order that his presence in Europe 
might secure the more perfect organization of the attempts for the 
conversion of the Indies and the countries lying beyond them. 
So Francis Xavier himself was now anxious to leave Japan for 
a time to other labourers, and direct his own efforts to China. 
He found a sympathetic friend in Diego Pereira, with whom he 
now held long talks while the ship was moving with a favour 
able wind along the coast of the country which the heart of the 
Apostle was now yearning to invade. Pereira seems not to 
have been of noble birth, but he had risen by his skill and in 
dustry to the possession of large wealth, and was devoted to 
Francis and his schemes for the advancement of the Gospel. 
We have seen how Francis had suggested in the case of Japan 
that an ambassador should be sent by the Governor of the 
Indies in the name of the King of Portugal, who might nego 
tiate for commercial relations as well as help on the introduc 
tion of Christian preachers. He had also suggested that if the 
state of affairs in India forbade the dispatch of a regular em 
bassy, the commission might be handed over to some friend of 
the Governor s, who might be willing to undertake the expedi 
tion at his own expense, looking for his reward to the great 
commercial gains which he might make thereby. Francis con 
ceived a plan exactly like to this for the opening of relations 
with China. The Governor or Viceroy of India might be asked 
to send an ambassador to the Court of China, and in the train 
of this ambassador Francis himself would go, and thus find a 
way to begin the preaching of the Gospel under the licence of 
the Emperor himself. He was ready, indeed, to enter China in 
any possible way, even if his fate was only to share the im 
prisonment of a number of Portuguese merchants who had been 
seized in this country, the coasts of which were most severely 
guarded against all foreigners. But it would be far better, far 
more likely to secure success as to the free preaching of the 
Christian law, if he could go as the companion of the envoy of 

360 St. Francis Xavier. 

a king whose name was so formidable all over the East as the 
King of Portugal. 

Diego Pereira entered heartily into the plans of Francis, and 
offered his ship and his fortune to carry them out, if he could 
be named ambassador of the Portuguese crown to China. It 
was arranged between them that Francis should obtain the ap 
pointment from the Governor of India, and as Pereira had 
to leave Malacca immediately after arriving there for a mer 
cantile voyage to Sonda, he was to give the Father letters to 
his agent at Goa to prepare all the costly donatives which in 
those days were necessary for embassies in the East, and to 
defray liberally all the other expenses of such an undertaking. 
Meanwhile, the vessel, called the Santa Croce, was not to escape 
the danger which we find so constantly haunting the voyages of 
Francis Xavier. She was caught by a typhoon before reaching 
Singapore, and was for a time in great peril. Francis retired for 
a few moments to pray alone ; then he came on deck, raised his 
hands and solemnly blessed the vessel. The Santa Croce, he 
said, shall never perish at sea, but only on the shore where 
she was built, where she shall fall to pieces of herself. Would 
to heaven that so it was to be with the other ship which sailed 
with us from San Chan ! In a few minutes the danger was over, 
but the ship had not proceeded far on its route before she came 
to a part of the sea where planks, merchandize, portions of 
wreck, and dead bodies were floating. The other ship had gone 
to pieces in the storm from which she had escaped." 

7 Massei here quotes the evidence of Domenico Caldeira in the Pro 
cesses, which seems to refer to this ship. He says that on his return from 
Japan Francis had already put his bundle containing the sacred vestments 
aiid other necessaries for the celebration of mass on board a ship which 
was bound directly for India. Pereira s ship was only bound for Malacca, 
and there was much doubt whether they would arrive there in time to 
catch another ship for India. But the captain was heard to speak of the 
voyage in blasphemous language he would get to India, God willing or 
not. Francis remonstrated with him, and asked him to say rather that 
he would reach India, if so it pleased God. He then told Caldeira to take 
his baggage out of the ship and to embark it in another, which must have 
been the Santa Croce. When he saw the wreck of the other covering the 
waters, he pointed out to his companions the danger which they would 
all have run if they had remained on board her. 

The ( Santa Croce S 361 

The prediction here mentioned about this famous ship, the 
Santa Croce, is one of those selected by the Auditors of the 
Rota out of the many similar prophecies witnessed to in the 
Processes afterwards made for the canonization of Francis 
Xavier. The ship, says the Relatio, survived Father Francis 
for twenty years, and old as it was, rotten and shattered by the 
waves during so many voyages and storms, it always escaped 
safely. The sailors and merchants, trusting to the aforesaid 
prediction, used eagerly to embark their merchandize therein, 
and sailed from place to place without any fear of shipwreck 
-or loss. Whenever it came into port, the ship was received 
with salutes and shouts of joy, and all India called it the ship 
of the holy Father. At last it was sold to a certain captain of 
Diu, who after many voyages took it into the port of Cochin, 
and it was there hauled ashore in order to be repaired, on 
which it fell to pieces, and nothing but a heap of timbers re 
mained of it. Diego Pereira himself was one of the witnesses 
who are quoted in evidence both of the prediction and of its 
accomplishment. 8 

8 There are several anecdotes about this ship, as was only to be ex 
pected. Massei, 1. iii. p. 378, tells some of them. The Santa Croce once 
.sailed from Malacca to Cochin laden almost to the water s edge, and after 
sailing about twenty-four miles, began to leak. The people on board fired 
guns of distress, as she was sailing with a fleet of merchantmen, but no 
one would consent to relieve her of part of the cargo. The captain turned 
back to Malacca, and was received with shouts of scorn and hisses, for 
having doubted of the promise of Francis Xavier. He turned back, then 
and there, and arrived safe at Cochin. Another story is that a certain Jorge 
Nunez took a plank of the old ship after she went to pieces, and worked it 
into a small vessel of his own, which also enjoyed a sort of charmed exist- 
ence amid the storms and perils of the Indian seas. Francis Xavier also made 
a prediction similar to that of which we are speaking as to Francesco d Aghiar, 
the steersman of the ship of Duarte Gama, in which he came from Japan, 
and which experienced the terrible storm just now related. Francis promised 
D Aghiar that he should never perish by water, and that no ship which he 
navigated should perish in any storm at sea. D Aghiar after this used to 
rsail in the most rotten vessels, without the least fear, and was always free 
from danger. A story is told in which his ship, a very poor one, escaped 
alone of a large fleet, and another of his singing cheerily in the midst 
of a very dangerous storm, answering, when interrogated as to his extra- 
ordinary confidence, that he feared nothing in any ship whatever, on ac 
count of the promise made by Master Francis. Bartoli, p. 278. 

St. Francis Xa-vier. 

Malacca, to which port Francis was no\v drawing near, had 
suffered severe calamity since he had left it. We may remem 
ber the apparent anxiety with which he had inquired about 
Malacca in his short letter to the Portuguese merchant at Figi. 
Some of his biographers tell us that before leaving Japan he 
had urged Duarte de Gama to hasten his departure in order to 
succour the place : and it seems certain that a rumour that 
some great misfortune had befallen it was current at 8an Chan 
before the Santa Croce sailed, so that Diego Pereira had hesi 
tated as to venturing to make for that port. His fears were 
relieved by Francis, who told him that the danger was over, 
and that he should find a single ship, that of his relative An 
tonio Pereira, not yet departed for India. What had happened 
was this. Malacca, as we have seen, was an exposed station, 
with no Portuguese settlement or garrison within easy reach ; 
and, on the other hand, in the near neighbourhood of several 
very powerful native or Mussulman states, the rulers of which 
were always on the watch, ready to seize an opportunity of 
swooping down on so important and yet so unprotected a po 
sition. We have already mentioned the King or Rajah of 
Bintang, who, but for the Portuguese conquests, would have 
been the sovereign of Malacca. This potentate, at the head 
of an army of ten thousand men, with t\vo hundred ships, 
swollen by contingents from a number of the Mussulman states 
and from Java itself, laid siege to Malacca in the summer of 
1551. The Portuguese garrison in all numbered about three 
hundred men, and after much hard fighting they were obliged 
to retire into the citadel, leaving a great part of the city at the 
mercy of the enemy, who ravaged it with fire and sword. The 
siege of the fortress lasted for nearly three months, during 
which Francesco Perez was continually exposing himself, cru 
cifix in hand, at the head of the defenders, who were reduced 
at last to great straits for food, especially for water. The enemy 
at one time gained an important position, which seemed to 
involve imminent danger to the fortress itself, and more than 
once attempted to carry it by assault, though they were re 
pulsed with great loss. At last Fernandez de Carvalho, who 

At Singapore. 363 

had opportunely arrived with a squadron of three ships earlier 
in the siege, made an unexpected attack on the besiegers, a 
part of whom had withdrawn on account of a rumour purposely 
.spread abroad by the Portuguese of a descent to be made on 
their own territory, and succeeded in dislodging them from 
their positions, and putting them to flight. Two thousand of 
ihe enemy were killed, and they left behind them their artillery 
land stores ; but a third part of the defenders had lost their 
lives, while the invaders had carried off, before their final de- 
jfeat, an immense booty in property and slaves. The misfor 
tunes of Malacca did not cease with the siege, as the enemy 
had poisoned a well before retiring, and a number of the in 
habitants who had taken refuge in the fortress lost their lives 
rom drinking the water. 

The siege had ended while Francis was still in Japan. 
Vhen the Santa Croce arrived off Singapore (where at that 
time there seems to have been no settlement, though the straits 
seem to have been a sort of rendezvous for ships), a light vessel 
ivas found there bound for Malacca, by means of which Francis 
brwarded the following hurried note, to secure himself an im 
mediate passage to India. 

(LXXXVII.) To the Society at Malacca. 

May the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be ever 
with us to help us and favour us ! Amen. 

To-day is the fortieth day since we left Japan, where the 
Christian religion, by the favour of God, is advancing in a 
wonderful way. I have left all of the Society whom I brought 
with me safe and sound, by the goodness of God, at Aman- 
[juchi (a large city, the capital of a kingdom), that they may 
take care of the people there, many of whom have already 
>ecome Christians, and many more are daily becoming such. 

fl Sec Hartoli, Asia, t. i. pp. 279, 280. Faria y Sousa (Asia Portu 
sa) tells the story somewhat differently from Bartoli, and we have fol 
lowed him in several particulars. 

364 St. Francis Xavier. 

Other things I will explain when I see you ; but get ready, I 
beseech you, for me, some of the things necessary for the voy 
age to India, and provide that one of the ships bound for India 
may await our arrival. For it is of great importance for the 
glory of Christ our Lord and the salvation of souls, that I should 
go on at once to India from Malacca. Send Joam Bravo with 
your answer to my message hither to me as soon as possible. 
I will tell you by and by all about Japanese affairs, which I 
know for certain it will be most pleasant and delightful for you 
to hear about. But enough for the present. May God be with 
us all ! Amen. 

From the Straits of Singapore, Dec. 30, 1551. 

Francis Xavier was received at Malacca with great joy. 
The survivors of the siege came to tell him that if he had been 
on the spot the calamity would not have happened. Don Pedro 
de Silva, still Capitan, as it appears, welcomed him affection 
ately. The Japanese envoy whom he had with him was enter 
tained with as much splendour as the circumstances would per 
mit. Francis communicated to Don Pedro, and also to his 
brother, Don Alvaro d Ataide, 10 who seems to have been at the 
time in Malacca, his designs as to the embassy to China and 
his intention of proposing Diego Pereira for that undertaking 
to the Viceroy, Don Alfonso de Norofia, who had arrived in 
India in 1550. As far as we can gather, no kind of opposition 
was given by either of the brothers. 

Francis sailed almost immediately for Cochin. He arrived 

10 There is some uncertainty as to the time at which Don Alvaro suc 
ceeded his brother as Capitan of Malacca. Pedro was certainly in com 
mand at the time of the siege. Alvaro came out from Portugal in the 
fleet which brought Don Alfonso de Noroiia in 1550. He is said by some 
to have been at Malacca at the time of which we are speaking, and to have 
agreed with his brother in supporting the embassy suggested by Francis. 
On the other hand, Don Pedro did not leave Malacca till after Francis 
Xavier, and seems even to have been there when he returned a few months 
later. And Faria y Sousa (Asia Porttcgtiesa, t. ii. p. 2, cap. 10), a little 
after this date, speaks of a dispute between the two brothers, Don Alvaro 
endeavouring to enter on his office before his brother s term had expired. 
It is quite certain that he did not succeed as Capitan till after Francis 
Xavier s short visit at the beginning of 1552. 

Letter to Ignatius. 365 

n time to catch the Portuguese ships which were to sail for 

lurope, and his first occupation was to write hastily to Ignatius 

-.oyola and Simon Rodriguez and the Society in Europe as to 

|he needs of the mission of Japan. The two following letters, 

herefore, really belong to this part of our subject, though they 

vere written after Francis had returned to India. We have 

Jready given the long letter to the Society, dispatched at the 

ame time. 

The opening of the letter to Ignatius needs a word of com- 
nentary. Francis Xavier had hitherto been Superior of all the 
nembers of the Society working in the Indies, but the Indian 
nission had not been made a separate Province until 1549, 
Jter his departure for Japan. Some of the difficulty which Fran- 
is had felt as to the appointment of Antonio Gomez, of which 
ve have more than once spoken, may have come from the fact 
hat India was then to some extent under the Province of Por- 
fugal. In 1549 Ignatius Loyola had erected India into a Pro- 
/ince, and had made Francis Xavier its Provincial Superior. 
The patents by which the appointment was formally signified 
p him seem to have accompanied the letter from Ignatius to 
vhich he alludes so tenderly in the opening sentences of his 
wn letter which we now insert. At the same time he received 
j.nother document, communicating to him all the privileges of 
tie General of the Society, except that of admitting fathers to 

profession of the four vows. 

(LXXXVIII.) To my holy Father in Jesus Christ, 
Ignatius at Rome. 

May the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ ever help 
assist us ! Amen. 

O, my true Father ! I have just received at Malacca, on my 
eturn from Japan, the letter of your holy charity. The news 
irhich I hoped for, and which it has given me, of the life and 
;ood health of one so dear and so venerated, have filled my 
oul with a joy known to God alone. I have read there many 

3 66 St. Francis Xavier. 

words breathing all your sweetness and piety ; I have reread 
them many times for the comfort and the good of my soul. I 
go over them again in my mind, feeding on them, so to speak, 
continually ; especially those last words which are, as it were, 
the seal of charity, and which conclude your letter, Yours en 
tirely, so that no length of time will ever be able to make me 
forget you, Ignatius. I have read these words with tears of 
delight, and as I write them I weep at the blessed remembrance 
of past days, and of the sincere and holy love with which you 
have always enfolded me, and which still follows me. I consider 
that God was pleased to deliver me from all those great toils 
and dangers in Japan, chiefly because your prayers and fatherly 
intercession in my behalf induced Him to favour me. 

No words can express all that I owe to the Japanese. It 
is by their means alone that our Lord, by an interior illumina 
tion, has penetrated me with a knowledge of my countless sins. 
Up to this time, wandering outside of myself, I was ignorant of 
the abyss of miseries which were concealed in my conscience ; 
until, in the labours and trials of that country, the eyes of my 
soul have been at last opened and the Divine Goodness has 
allowed me to see clearly, and touch as it were, by living ex 
perience and sensible impression, how very much I require 
another person to be given to me, to exercise the most sedul 
ous care over me. Consider therefore what your holy charity 
is doing in putting under my guidance so many holy souls of 
the fathers and brothers of the Society residing in these coun 
tries. Nothing but the Divine Mercy has made me sensible in 
a manner transcending all evidence how ill prepared I am with 
the most necessary qualities for this ministry of direction. I 
ought rather to have hoped to be placed under the care and 
authority of my brothers, than to be charged with directing them. 

Your holy charity adds that you greatly desire to see me 
once again before the close of this life. Our Lord, who reads 
the depths of my soul, knows the keen and sweet emotion of 
tender love which this affectionate expression of your precious 
love has roused in my inmost heart. And as often as I turn 
over these words in my mind (which is very often) unbidden 

Letter to Ignatius. 367 

tears fill my eyes, and break forth gently and irresistibly at this 
one sweetest image on which my heart dwells, that it is possible 
I may again clasp you in my arms : a thing difficult enough to 
bring about, as I see, but nothing is impossible to holy obedi 

In the name of the passionate zeal for the service and glory 
of our Lord God with which you are animated, I ask one favour 
of you, which if I were in your presence I would implore be 
fore your holy feet on my knees : it is that you would send 
here some man thoroughly well known and approved by your 
holy charity to be made Rector of the College of Goa. Such 
a man chosen by yourself, and so to say formed by your hands, 
is very much required by that College. 

With regard to Japan, the reason why I am convinced that 
you should send there persons of great excellence and eminent 
both for virtue and learning, to be sent to the universities of 
that empire, is this. There are many there, unlearned though 
prudent men, who possess good judgment, and when they are 
convicted of their errors they take refuge in the answer that there 
are a multitude of learned persons in their country also who 
have devoted their lives to deep research, and to the reading 
of all kinds of books. These learned ones, they say, deny the 
truths which we maintain, and must have their arguments con 
futed and be gained over to us, in order that others who rely 
on their authority may be themselves converted. Therefore 
letters and science are indispensable. 

The most remarkable strength of soul and patience, and 
indeed all virtues in perfection, are absolutely necessary for those 
who are preparing for such great conflicts. They will come, a 
few poor foreigners, to match themselves against the whole glory 
and reputation of a haughty people relying on its pride in itself 
and its institutions, entirely ruled by the bonzes, the first per 
sonages in the country as to dignity and esteem. Their bold 
ness will expose them to a thousand sufferings when the hornets 
they have irritated shall fly upon them. They will find that 
they cannot do with impunity what is the first and most neces 
sary thing to be done, to tear to pieces the sophistries of the 

368 St. Francis Xavier. 

bonzes, to confound their falsehoods, to expose the unworthy 
and secret artifices Avith which they suck the purses of the 
credulous people. 

From my experience when on the spot, I can well imagine 
how the mad fury of these false priests will break out on seeing 
before them a man who is able to deny to their face the power 
of which they boast, to snatch by their secret rites from the 
flames of hell souls already condemned to them ; and if their 
ridiculous pretensions are publicly convicted of falsehood, their 
chief source of gain will cease to exist. And when their shame 
ful and unnatural crimes, the detestable obscenity of which is 
in their eyes a matter of joke, perhaps even a subject of praise, 
are branded with just and severe reprobation, then it is only 
natural that these raging boars, pierced by the spear in their 
filthy mire, will run in fury and madness on the men who have 
cast pearls before them. As I have before said, the preachers of 
the truth on these and other like subjects in this country cannot 
fail to be violently attacked and severely tried, and they will 
surely be tasked to the utmost to possess their souls in pa 
tience, to use the words of the Gospel ; and this patience they 
must acquire by practice, and be powerfully armed therewith 
before they expose themselves to such dangers. I am writing 
to Father Simon, or in case of his absence to the Rector of the 
College of Coimbra, to send no one for the Japanese universities 
who has not been seen, examined, and approved by your holy 

I cannot repeat too often that our brothers will have to en 
dure conflicts and trials beyond all common expectation. Visited 
constantly and most unseasonably, they will not have a mo 
ment of the day (often not of the night) free from importunate 
inquirers ; questions will follow one upon another incessantly ; 
the nobles will send for them, and it will be impossible to re 
fuse to go to them. These distractions will rob them of time 
for daily prayer, meditation, recollection of the soul in God, and 
other spiritual exercises of the kind. They will not have time 
to celebrate mass at least for some days after they first show 
themselves, on account of the crowd of visitors ; they will barely 

Letter to Ignatius. 369 

have leisure for accomplishing the obligation of Office, or for 
necessary food and sleep. One of the faults of this people is 
without any shame to take up the time of foreigners, especially 
people who come from a distance, whom they generally treat 
contemptuously and make game of them wantonly, even when 
they are harmless and in no way troublesome. But if these 
foreigners venture to attack and blame openly what the com 
mon people reverence and admire, if they lift up their voice 
against the different sects of false religions, if they satirize and 
strike with the censor s rod the public crimes of the nation, 
and do it thoroughly and earnestly, if they declare obstinately 
that no one who has gone down into the fires of hell can be 
delivered from them by any sacrifice or almsgiving or rites per 
formed by their living relations and friends ; then they will cer 
tainly have to undergo a violent tempest of ill will ; even the 
wisest of the natives will be exasperated at their thinking so 
hardly as to the souls of persons, dear to them, who are already 
dead ; they will, for the most part, despise the new religion as 
imperfect and impotent, as confessing at once to inability of 
applying any remedy to souls already condemned. People s 
minds here are filled with cares and questions as to this point, 
because the literature and the old traditions of the country 
abound in stories of hell and do not say anything about Pur 

Now all this being so, it is self evident that what we want 
here are powerful intellects, practised in dialectics, gifted with 
a popular eloquence, quick to follow error in its shiftings and 
even to anticipate them, able to snatch the mask from lies which 
plausibly bear the semblance of reality, to unravel sophistical 
arguments, and to show the incoherence and mutual contradic 
tion of false doctrines. As a matter of fact, these bonzes are 
wonderfully ashamed and confused if the want of harmony and 
even the self contradiction of their dogmas are brought to light, 
or when they are so caught in the bonds of an invincible argu 
ment that they cannot escape from it. To these intellectual 
gifts must be added bodily strength capable of resisting the 
severest cold of winter. Bandou, the chief Japanese university, 


370 St. Francis Xavier. 

is situated in the most northern part of these islands, and the 
others are not far off. It is found out here that natives of a 
colder climate are distinguished beyond others for skill and 
genius. As to the food, rice is almost the only thing to eat, 
though there is a little wheat and a few vegetables, greens, and 
other things of that sort, dry and not very wholesome. The only 
wine is made from rice (the making is an art) ; it is very scarce, 
and so extremely dear. But the most troublesome trial of all 
is the continual anxiety caused by daily perils. 

Old men are unsuited for the work in this country ; they 
would not have the necessary strength for the labours which 
are indispensable. Neither are young men desirable, except 
those in whom the defect of age is supplied by great virtues, 
proved openly by severe trials ; otherwise they would rather 
ruin themselves than be of use to others. All kinds of tempta 
tions and occasions of sin abound in Japan. Added to this, 
men s minds are more delicate here than anywhere else, and 
are easily scandalized by the very slightest appearance of an 
imperfect example in persons who claim to teach others. I 
am writing all these particulars as minutely as they are here set 
down to Master Simon, or if he should be absent, to the Rector 
of Coimbra. 

I should be most glad if your holy charity would be so 
good as to write to Coimbra desiring that the missionaries in 
tended for Japan may be first sent to you at Rome. I have 
often thought that Belgians or Germans, acquainted with Portu 
guese or Spanish, would be well fitted for this destination. The 
men of both these countries bear fatigue well, and are prepared 
by their temperament and education to bear the cold of Ban- 
dou. It has seemed to me as very probable that there must 
be a great many fathers, natives of these two countries, in the 
different Colleges of Spain and Italy, where perhaps they are 
not so very useful, not being masters of the native elegances 
of the language of the country. If they were transplanted to 
Japan, they would do very efficient service there, and gain the 
reward of great fruit of souls. I have thought it also my duty 
to suggest to your holy charity, if this idea pleases you, to order 

Letter to Ignatius. 371 

that more strict prudence be exercised in the choice of persons 
to be sent from the Spanish and Portuguese Colleges to live in 
India. It would be better that only two fathers should sail 
yearly for India, provided they were persons such as this coun 
try requires ; in the first place sufficiently advanced in spiritual 
perfection, and then possessing the eloquence and learning in 
dispensable for preaching and hearing confessions. These also 
I should wish by your order to make a pilgrimage to Rome be 
fore sailing hither; for those trials of journeys help to form them, 
show them the extent of their strength, inure them to labour, 
and strengthen them to endure future perils by the remembrance 
of the past dangers which they have safely escaped. Lastly, 
we shall gain this also : that they will not be new to the fatigues 
of missionary labours, as we find men to be who come hither 
from their own homes carried quietly on board ship, without hav 
ing any practice at all in going about the country as pilgrims. 

Besides this, there are here so many inducements to self 
indulgence, such strong and seducing allurements, not only to 
sloth and idleness, but even to wickedness, that it seems right 
that the virtue of those who are to be exposed to these spiritual 
dangers should first be proved by most careful trials ; lest un 
happily unsuitable persons should creep in among our mis- 
sioners, who instead of the comfort we might have expected 
from their arrival and residence amongst us, would occasion us 
the most grievous trouble, and do things in consequence of 
which we are obliged to dismiss them from the Society. Let 
your holy charity see, I beseech you, whether it will be well 
yourself to admonish Master Simon on this point. 

No one of those of ours now at Amanguchi, or of those at 
present in India and intended to go to Japan, God willing, next 
year or in some following year, seems to me fitted to be sent 
to the Japanese universities. But they will spend their time in 
studying the language, and in learning the doctrines of the 
different sects, so that when the fathers whom we expect come 
from Europe, sent as from your own bosom, they may make 
use of the others as faithful helpers and interpreters in disputing 
with the bonzes. I hope very confidently that the Church of 

37 2 St. Francis Xavier. 

Amanguchi will grow and develope very largely. It already has 
a great many Christians; and many among them are excellent: 
new converts are being instructed and baptized every day. I 
live in the firm hope that our Lord will preserve to us Father 
Cosmo Torres and Joam Fernandez, and not suffer them to be 
put to death by the idolaters first, because they seem to have 
already escaped the first and most instant dangers, and the 
fury of the bonzes, excessively irritated in their earliest attacks, 
appears to have softened with time and to be gradually waning ; 
also because there are so many Christians there, several of 
them of distinguished rank and power, who watch very zeal 
ously day and night over the safety of our missioners. Joam 
Fernandez, though a simple layman, is most useful on account 
of the fluency he has acquired in the Japanese language, and 
of the aptness and clearness with which he translates whatever 
Father Cosmo suggests to him. At present he is entirely occu 
pied in explaining all the mysteries of Jesus Christ to the peo 
ple in daily instructions. 

As I perceive in the Japanese a happy disposition for ap 
proving the Christian religion when sufficiently explained to 
them, and for persevering with constancy therein when they 
have received it, as well as handing it on to their posterity, 
I think that even the greatest labour would be well employed 
in cultivating them. As to this thought, I find much strength 
and consolation in the hope I place in your holy charity, which 
bids me ask that you will send some fathers of great sanctity 
whom we may fitly oppose to the teachers of the superstitions 
of Japan. One of the principal motives to induce you to do 
so, is the superiority, which is very evident to me, of the 
Japanese nation over all the others at present discovered in 
these parts. I do not think that there is any other nation living 
under its own laws and not subject to the King of Portugal as 
to which we may hope that the Christian religion will take root 
and remain firm and lasting. As far as I know, the Japanese 
nation is the single and only nation of them all which seems 
likely to preserve unshaken and for ever the profession of 
Christian holiness if once it embraces it; but this will doubtless 

Letter to Ignatius. 373 

not be without great sufferings and heroic conflicts on the part 
of the preachers of the Gospel. 

China, an immense empire, enjoying profound peace, regu 
lated by a number of very wise laws, is governed by a single 
sovereign whose will is absolute. It is a most opulent empire, 
abounding in everything necessary for human life. A narrow 
strait separates it from Japan. Its people are remarkable for 
intelligence, and employ themselves in study, chiefly of laws 
and human jurisprudence, and also of political science. The 
ambition of the greater part of the people is to gain a deep 
knowledge on this subject. The faces of the natives are pale 
and beardless, and their eyes are small. They have generally 
kind open dispositions, and are lovers of peace, which flour 
ishes and is firmly established among them, without any fear 
of wars. Unless some new obstacles should arise and alter 
my plans, I hope to sail for China in this year 1552, whither I 
am attracted by the hope of being able to do good work in 
furthering greatly the service of God to the benefit of both the 
Chinese and Japanese nations. As soon as the Japanese learn 
that the Chinese have embraced the faith of Jesus Christ, there 
is reason to hope that the obstinacy with which they are at 
tached to their own false sects will be lessened. So I am full 
of confidence that by the labours of our Society, the Chinese 
and Japanese will abandon their idolatrous superstitions and 
adore Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all nations. 

I may tell you by the way of a singular and strange thing which 
is observed as to the mutual intercourse of these two nations. 
Their languages are different, so that people who speak the one 
do not understand the other. But an educated Japanese can 
read and understand what a Chinese writes, only, when he 
reads it aloud, what he says is unintelligible to the writer him 
self if he be there. For the Chinese letters are not like the 
characters we use, which express the various sounds of the 
human voice, but they represent the things themselves, and so 
are innumerable. And those people in Japan who affect to be 
learned learn the signification of these letters, that is the ob 
jects which they designate, not the word or name which they 

374 St. Francis Xavier. 

represent. And in order to make elementary instruction easier 
and the labour of teachers lighter, they have hit upon this 
compendious method. They set forth on a board the Chinese 
letters, putting upon each a picture of the thing which they signify 
as, for example, they put a representation of a man upon the 
character which is fixed on to signify a man, and so on. So 
the Japanese, when they read, have the representation to guide 
them, and in their minds they think of the thing which the 
Chinese who has written the character had in his mind ; but 
when they come to read aloud what is before them, they utter 
the Japanese words which signify the thing. The Chinese hear 
them, and do not know in the least what they mean. And so 
in turn, if a Chinese reads to a Japanese the same writing, the 
latter will not understand a word of what he says. 11 

We have written a book in the Japanese language explain 
ing the origin of the world, and all the mysteries of the life of 
Jesus Christ. We have transcribed this book into Chinese 
characters, and intend to carry this copy with us when we go 
into China, so that while we are learning the language of the 
country we may be able to show the Chinese a sample of the 
truths we bring to them written in characters which they know. 
I pray and beseech your holy charity, in the name of your love 
for God and your zeal for His service, yourself to recommend 
me earnestly to God in your daily prayers and holy sacrifices, 
and make the rest of the Society do the same. I ardently solicit 
(and your holy charity will be my interpreter and mediator in 
this matter) that the suffrages of all the fathers, especially the 
professed, and their powerful intercession with our common 
Lord, may be procured for me. These prayers, in union with 
the merits of the whole militant Church, and with the prayers 

11 On this adoption by the Japanese of the Chinese characters, see Sir 
Rutherford Alcock, Capital of the Tycoon, i. 167. There is a better account 
in M Humbert, Japan JHustrJ, t. ii. p. 33seq. The same excellent work 
curiously confirms the statement made a little above about the arms of the 
Prince of Satsouma. These are figured in M. Humbert s book, t. i. p. 392, 
as a broad circular hoop of black with two equally broad transverse bands 
crossing the white circle in the middle. The cross is therefore there, but 
in black. 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez. 375 

of all the blessed who in their lifetime were of our Society, 
and the petitions of the whole of the Church triumphant, may 
obtain for me from our Lord God the grace clearly to know in 
this life what His holy Will desires of me, and the assistance 
and strength necessary for accomplishing in all fulness and 
perfection whatever it may be His order or command that I 
should do. 

The least of your sons, and the farthest from your presence, 
Cochin, Jan. 29, 1552. FRANCIS. 

The next letter, to Simon Rodriguez, accompanied that to 

(LXXXIX.) To Master Simon Rodriguez. 

May the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord always 
help and favour us ! 

I am anxious to inform you of different matters relating to 
Japan, so as to give you a notion what kind of labourers are 
required for that country. Men, in the first place, of tried ex 
perience, proved by suffering and dangers, should be chosen, 
in order to win the people to the true faith. At Bandou, and 
in the other universities, great conflicts and great persecution 
await them from the bonzes. So I say they will be violently 
assailed, and to such a point, that there may be risk, lest in 
seeking to save others they lose themselves, unless they possess 
great strength of soul and confidence in God. They will have 
to endure very severe cold, Bandou being much further north 
than Amanguchi ; they will also have to put up with want of 
food, there being almost nothing to eat but rice and vegetables, 
and a few like things. For such an undertaking, as you see, 
it is self evident that men of great virtue and of good physical 
constitution are required. 

I think it would be advisable to send some Belgians and 
Germans, who are accustomed to cold and bodily suffering, and 
being away from their native country, and not knowing the 
language, can do no great work in preaching in Portugal or else- 

376 St. Francis Xavier. 

where. You have many such in Italy, Spain, and France. I 
should wish them also to be well practised in argumentative 
conclusions, in solving captious objections, so as to be suffi 
ciently learned publicly to confound the bonzes, whose authority 
is of greatest weight in the universities in fact to make them 
contradict themselves openly. I shall send some of our people 
hence to Amanguchi to learn the Japanese language, and get 
some idea of the doctrines and errors of the nation, so that 
other more eminent subjects of the Society sent hither may find 
them able companions and interpreters, and then go to attack 
the universities, and that, even though not sufficiently ac 
quainted with the language of the nation, these fathers may 
dispute themselves with the bonzes by means of interpreters, 
until they themselves know Japanese. I beg you to let our 
blessed Father Ignatius know about the men whom you are 
going to send to the Japanese universities. 

A great concourse of men go from all parts of Japan to the 
university of Bandou, to gain learning. When they return to 
their country, they teach their fellow-countrymen what they 
have acquired. I am told that Bandou is a very large and 
well populated town ; its inhabitants are famous for their noble 
blood, but also for military prowess, although many of gentle 
and peaceful nature are to be found. I entreat you to take care 
to send us brothers of proved virtue and modesty for this place. 

To give some idea of the difficulties which those destined 
for Japan will encounter when they appear in the universities, 
they will be continually assailed with questions and disputes 
one after another, they will be the sport of the people, mocked 
and laughed at by every one. They will have no leisure time 
for meditation or the contemplation of divine truths, none for 
saying mass, especially at Bandou and Meaco, scarcely even 
the necessary time for reciting the Divine Office. The mission 
aries dwelling will be constantly thronged with a crowd of 
natives sometimes visitors, sometimes inquirers, sometimes 
people sent by the nobles, to invite them to a visit without ever 
admitting any excuse. 

In fact so many importunate people come at every instant 

Letter to Simon Rodriguez. 377 

that barely a moment can be found for bodily needs, for taking 
a little sleep or food. Satan will lay snares for them in won 
derful ways, and our brethren deprived of their hours of divine 
meditation and office, and above all of the fruits of the most 
Holy Eucharist, if they have added to this the persecution of 
the bonzes, the excessive inconvenience of the cold, the in 
sufficiency and difficulty about food, and the absolute hopeless 
absence of all human consolation and aid, these, I say, who 
have to undergo so many and such great miseries, must be en 
dowed with singular virtue. 

You .must, then, be very careful in the choice of subjects to 
be sent to Japan. Old men are not suitable because they are 
wanting in strength, and young men are not because they lack 
experience. Believe me, the zeal and virtue of those who en 
roll themselves for Japan will be indeed abundantly tried, and 
more than enough ; but, on the other hand, they will be filled 
in a marvellous way with heavenly consolations if they bear their 
trials and fatigues courageously, and use the grace and help of 
God, which are given most largely in the greatest difficulties, 
to win the victory over our everlasting enemy. 

I again implore you, my dearest Brother, to send to India 
such subjects as, although few in number, may be of great 
service ; as there are at present in Europe so many houses of 
the Society, two at least might be chosen every year from each 
house gifted with a natural talent for preaching, and who might 
render even still greater service by their example than their 
words. India is indeed of all countries the one where such 
subjects are the most necessary. I would have you charge 
the fathers who are sent, to admit no one into the Society 
amongst their fellow travellers. If a certain number of sub 
jects are received in India, to be applied later on to Humani 
ties, it ought only to be those who are possessed with a good 
foundation of learning and virtue and come to us merely to 
finish their studies. You send away a great number of subjects 
from the colleges in Europe ; and we would rather have them 
here than receive out here into our number men who only know 
how to read and write. 

378 St. Francis Xavier. 

Most desirable it would be if no one were to come from 
Portugal to India before finishing his studies, and no one be 
received into the Society here excepting subjects required for 
domestic purposes. Studies out here are a very slow concern ; 
those who undertake studies here must wait a great many years 
before they will be fit to preach, hear confessions, and be of 
use to the Society and people of the country. 

O my Simon ! may God unite us in the heavenly country, 
since for His sake we live so far apart on earth ! However, 
what if we are to meet again in the kingdom of China ? I ear 
nestly beg of you to ask our Lord to give me the grace to open 
the gates of China to others, for I am fit for nothing myself. 
You must treat the affair concerning the Fishery Coast (which 
Enrico Enriquez has written to you about), I mean about the 
Commandant, with his Highness ; it is very important for the 
good of religion. 

Cochin, Jan. 30, 1552. FRANCIS. 

The last paragraph appears to refer to a topic unfortunately 
by no means new in the letters of Francis Xavier the ex-- 
actions and vexations which the Christian converts on the 
Fishery Coast had to suffer at the hands of the Portuguese 
officials. We may well suppose that the memorial as to the 
Commandant or Captain of the Fishery Coast, to which refer 
ence is made, is a document which has come to light in our 
time, and was first printed by M. Leon Pages at the end of 
the second volume of his translation of the letters. The com 
plaints of the Christians therein contained are, at all events, of 
the same character with those alluded to by Francis Xavier, 
who seems to have forwarded some document of the sort drawn 
up by Enrico Enriquez. The pearl fishers say that the Captain 
makes them pay him a certain tribute on account of their fish 
eries, even when they do not fish, and also to fish in a way 
which they do not like. They ask to be allowed to pay the 
dues only on the fishing which they actually make, and not to 
be compelled to fish against their will, for such, they say, is 
the right which the Governor Garcia de Sa conceded to them ; 

The Fishery Coast. 379 

and they ask his Highness that this order may be carried out. 
Again, the Captain exacts a tax from them on the fish which 
they catch, and on which they live. This is an entirely new 
impost, and they demand to be relieved from it. Again, the 
Captain exacts dues from them on the cowries which they trade 
with to Africa, and makes them sell to him for a third part of 
the price which foreign traders offer for them. This abuse 
also they beg may be forbidden for the future. Again, the 
Captain and his friends used to claim a monopoly of the sale 
of rice, and to sell it to the natives at an arbitrary price, forcing 
them to take it whether they would or no, and then prosecuting 
them until they had paid him. In the same way the Portu 
guese official put dues upon their coasting trade, on which 
the transport of their provisions depended, their boats being 
not allowed to sail except under his licence. Further, he moved 
them about arbitrarily from village to village, never leaving 
them fixed for long in the same place, and exacting certain 
fees whenever they were thus transplanted. On all these points 
they appeal to the justice of his Highness for relief, and they 
also ask that fugitives from neighbouring territories, who may 
be driven out by tyranny or persecution, may be welcomed 
and allowed to live in peace in the settlements of the Fishery 
Coast, in order that by this means they may be encouraged to 
place themselves under the protection of his Highness, and 
that the number of converts to Christianity may be increased. 
The memorial concludes by saying that all these things have 
been already ordered by Garcia de Sa the Governor, and have 
also been made the subject of petition by Ruy Gomez de 
Camynha, a resident at Goa, who holds the office of procurator 
of their interests. 12 And the Christians pray that his Highness 

11 We are inclined to think that the Ruy Gomez mentioned here is the 
person whose name is written Ruy Gonzalez in the letter to Antonio Gomez 
and others inserted above (p. 163). The office mentioned is the same as 
that named here. It is evident that the translations of letters like those of 
Francis Xavier are sure to be less accurate in the proper names than 
in other matters, and in the transcripts perhaps even in the originals 
the names Gonzalez and Gomez would both be represented in the same 
abridged form, the first and the two last letters alone being given. 

380 St. Francis Xavier. 

will grant their requests as a special favour, in which the in 
terests of the service of God and the increase of the faith are 
concerned. 13 

It would not be easy to draw a more complete picture of 
official tyranny and exaction than that which is given, as it 
were, in outline in this document. The Christians were evid 
ently looked upon by the Captain of the Fishery Coast as a 
race of slaves, with no rights and no friends, out of whom he 
and his friends were simply to squeeze what they could. The 
mention in the document of Garcia de Sa as a former governor 
of the Indies, fixes the date of these complaints at the year 
1552, though it is just possible that they may have been drawn 
up between the time at which Francis returned from Japan 
and his last departure for India in the following April. It 
is therefore certain that neither the orders of the King, in his 
letter to Joam de Castro, nor the injunctions of the governor 
who succeeded Joam, had been able to effect any change for 
the better in the conduct of the Portuguese officials at a dis 
tance from the capital, and the strong language used in some 
of the letters of Francis Xavier to the King is abundantly jus 
tified. 14 

15 See Leon Pages, t. ii. p. 523 seq. 

14 M. Leon Pages prints, at the end of the document to which refer 
ence has been made above, a short letter from Francis himself, which ap 
pears to be appended to the memorial. If there is no uncertainty as to 
the connection between the two papers, we must of course suppose the 
shortest, which is from Francis himself, to have been drawn up at this 
time. This hypothesis, however, is not altogether free from difficulties 
drawn from internal evidence, as the note is addressed to a Vicar General 
who seems to be either going to Portugal or to be about to write to the 
King, and mentions as a very desirable thing the coming of Simon Rod 
riguez to India armed with certain power from his Highness. This, al 
though not incompatible with the later date of 1552, seems more naturally 
to belong to the year 1 549. It appears to us, therefore, uncertain at what 
date the letter should be fixed. It was as follows : 

Memorial for the Vicar General of the things regarding which he should 

treat with the King, for the good of the Christians in India. 
Your Reverence should remind the King to send a great number of 
preachers of the Society of Jesus into these countries, and secondly into 
the garrisons in India. There is a great want of preachers, as your 
Reverence well knows. 

Needs of India. 381 

What a service would his Highness render to God, if he sent to these 
countries of India Simon, with a great many members of the Society of 
Jesus ! Indeed, his coming would produce great fruits among the souls of 
the Portuguese in India, and make many Christians in Japan, which is 
peopled with infidels. At the same time it would be a great favour from 
his Highness if Master Simon were invested with civil jurisdiction over all 
the Christians of this country, so that no one else should have authority over 
them except those appointed by Father Master Simon, besides those persons 
designated by his Highness to occupy these offices. Indeed the captains 
invested with this jurisdiction over the Christians of the country, only use 
it to commit wrong and to seize property from the legitimate owners against 
their will, thus scandalizing the Christians of the country, and preventing 
the conversion of unbelievers, because of the ill treatment which the latter 
see inflicted upon those who are already Christians. 

In the event of Master Simon s not coming, your Grace may obtain 
from the King that he should confer on the Bishop this civil jurisdiction 
over the Christians of the country, and that none shall have jurisdiction 
nor authority over them, save those appointed by the Bishop or by his High- 
ness. And these officials will remain in their employment so long as they 
fulfil their duty : so that the Bishop can dispose of these officials, and in 
vest other persons with their appointments when the first do not fulfil 
their duty. 

[One line is almost entirely effaced.] 


(l.) Letter to the Society at Coimbra from Cagoxima, 
November $th, 1549. 

A LETTER is extant from Francis Xavier to the Society at Coimbra, 
under the same date as the long letter already given (p. 227 seq.) 
addressed to the Society at Goa. It seems probable that both 
letters were written by Francis himself, rather than that the letter 
to Coimbra was an abridgment sent on from India especially 
as the letter to Goa contains so much of exhortation and instruc 
tion for the fathers and brothers immediately subject to Francis 
himself. It is not, however, worth while to reproduce the letter 
to Coimbra in full, as it is in substance, as has been already said, 
a simple repetition of the narrative parts of the longer letter to 
India. It consists, in Father Menchacha s version, of eight para 
graphs or sections. The first contains the account of the voyage 
towards Japan, as far as the accident by which the daughter of 
the corsair was drowned. In the passage which follows, as to the 
incident of the answer given by the idol, that if the Christian 
Emmanuel had died the girl would have escaped, Francis leaves 
out the curious statement about his own prayer that the devil s 
torments might be increased, and says, I took to earnest prayer, 
and asked God very often that before we were swallowed up by 
the waves, He would deliver those men made by Him after His 
own image and likeness from their false and erroneous opinions 
and impious superstitions ; for it is a foul sight and a thing alto 
gether intolerable that the perpetual enemy of the human race 
itself should be adored in the place of God by men who are made 
to praise God. The second paragraph relates succinctly the rest 
of the voyage and the reception of Francis and the others at Ca- 
goxima. The third, which is very long, gives in abridgment 
what is said in the former letter as to the characteristics and 
manners of the Japanese, the bonzes, their unnatural impurities, 
the different orders of religious, the bad lives of the bonzes, who 
live with women of their own order, the wonder which Francis 
felt at the way in which the most abominable sins were thought 
nothing of, and at the credit in which the bonzes were, notwith 
standing their vices. It ends with a short account of his inter- 

The Gift of Tongues. 383 

course with Ningh-sit. The fourth paragraph sums up a few of 
his thoughts about the opening of a great field of labour, and the 
necessity of great selfdiscipline, patience, and submission, as a 
preparation for it, which occupy so large a space in the letter to 
India. It is curious that it has the following sentence : It will, 
perhaps, very probably turn out that I may call a number of you 
out hither within the next two years. The fifth paragraph takes 
up the story of their residence at Cagoxima, Paul s visit to the 
Prince of Satsouma, and what passed about the picture of our 
Blessed Lady. It also mentions their need of the language, the 
way in which their position makes them trust entirely to God, and 
the benefit of the great scarcity and simplicity of food in Japan. 
The next paragraph sums up very briefly the anticipations of 
Francis as to the opposition of the bonzes, and his own readiness 
to sacrifice his life for the salvation of the Japanese. The seventh 
paragraph is an abridgment of what is said in the former letter 
as to his journey to Meaco, and as to the Japanese universities 
(in the list of which the name Frenojama is inserted), and as to 
his intention of writing to Europe when he has found out how 
things are in these universities. Where he speaks of inviting 
members of other religious orders, he adds, if they come out 
even in the greatest numbers, there will still be room left for the 
endeavours and labours of more. He then mentions the conver 
sion of the two bonzes, who are going to India, and his own visit 
to the Prince of Satsouma, as well as the edict of toleration issued 
by that prince. The last paragraph of the letter is a sort of con 
densation of the exhortations to humility and mutual charity which 
occur at the end of the letter to Goa. 

(2.) The Evidence as to the possession of the gift of tongues by 
Francis Xa-vier. 

The Relatio super sanctitate et miraculis Frandsci Xaverii, to 
which reference has been made in the Preface to the first volume 
of this work, as well as elsewhere, is too long a document for us 
to analyze in the present volume, which already threatens to exceed 
its destined limits. We may, however, give at least one specimen 
of its chapters, and the mention of the exercise of the gift of 
tongues by Francis at Amanguchi may serve as the occasion for 
the insertion of a short epitome of the argument as summarily 
represented by the Auditors of the Rota in their chapter on this 

384 St. Francis Xavier. 

The chapter begins by asserting, as from the evidence col 
lected in the Processes, that Francis Xavier had this gift, which 
he exercised in two ways. First, he spoke the languages (which 
he had never learnt) of natives to whom he went to preach the 
Gospel as freely and elegantly as if he had been born and edu 
cated in the midst of those nations ; and in the second place, it 
not unfrequently happened that men of different nations heard 
him at the same time, each in his own language. This happened 
elsewhere, and particularly in the port of Jafanapatam, and was 
considered as a great miracle, which made people venerate him,- 
and also converted many. 

The fact asserted being thus divided into two parts, fourteen 
witnesses are referred to who prove both parts at once. One of 
them, Emmanuel Fernandez, an old man of eighty at the time of 
his examination at Cochin, said that he knew Father Francis on 
the Fishery Coast, and in the port of Jafanapatam on the Coro- 
mandel Coast he had seen Francis preaching to the natives in 
their own tongue, and that all marvelled that he spoke so well, 
though he had just come there, and their language was very diffi 
cult to learn. And in the same town and port there were persons 
of divers nations and various tongues, and in a certain sermon 
which the said Father delivered in the presence of this witness, 
all affirmed that they heard him, each as if he were speaking in their 
proper and natural language. Emmanuel himself was witness 
that as soon as he came into a region he could speak any tongue, 
and this was considered a great miracle, and many were converted 
thereby. Another witness testifies to have heard of the miracle 
from persons who were present at Jafanapatam when Francis 
preached as mentioned above, and also to the common opinion 
and fame which prevailed concerning this matter, and how it was 
commonly said along the whole Fishery Coast that as soon as he 
had come there he had preached in the language of the Paravas 
as if he had been born there. Another, examined at Lisbon, testi 
fies to the public report, and that he had heard himself from per 
sons worthy of credit of the possession of the gift of tongues by 
Francis Xavier, so that when he spoke in one language he was 
heard by people of different nations in the native language of each. 
Several other witnesses are enumerated for this. Then a witness 
whose examination was taken at Bazain, Rodrigo Diaz Pereira, 
one of the King s nobles (Aulae Regiae Patritius), states that he 
sailed with Father Francis in the same ship to Banda, that is, to- 1 
one of the Moluccas, and had seen many heathen converted to the 
faith by the labours and preaching of the Father, and that he used 

The Gift of Tongues. 385 

:to preach the faith to them in their own language. Another wit- 
( ness follows who deposes to the same from common report. An- 
(Other says that he heard from his uncle Caspar de Cerqueiros 
; Abreu, commander of the Japanese expedition, that he had often 
iheard Father Francis preaching in Japan or to the Chinese, and 
khat while he understood him in his own native Portuguese, all 
[the others who were present understood him each in his own lan 
guage, though they were of other nations. Another witness, ex- 
ramined at Goa, declares that he had heard from persons worthy 
Jof credit, and particularly from four brothers who had been com- 
jpanions of Francis when in India, that when he first went to 
I Japan and knew little or nothing of the language, yet though he 
[preached without an interpreter, partly in Spanish, partly in Latin, 
[partly in Portuguese, with a few Japanese words mixed up, he 
pvas understood by all as if he had spoken in the native lan- 
Iguage of each, and that the same happened in the Isles of the 
[Moor and on the Fishery Coast. Another bears witness that it 
was notorious and testified by persons who had heard Francis s 
[sermons, that in the places on the Comorin Promontory and the 
Fishery Coast he used to preach in the native language so per 
fectly and easily that it seemed, as it were, his own by birth, and 
that all understood the exhortations which he made in public, nor 
was there any one who did not, on account of the appropriateness of 
the language which he used, and so it was commonly said that the 
whole people would have become Christian if he had not gone on 
so soon to other parts. Another witness says that those who were 
Xavier s companions and heard his sermons affirmed that he spoke 
in the idiom or language of all the men whom he went among in 
India, as one who really had the gift of tongues, speaking to the 
>eople of Malabar or the Moluccas without an interpreter, and 
reaching with as much ease in the Molucca dialect as in Portu- 
Ejuese, being himself from Navarre. 

The auditors of the Rota then proceed to show how wonderful 
this gift must have been, quoting the promise made by our Lord 
is to the signs which shall follow those who believe, and also the 
words of St. Paul that tongues are a sign, not to believers, but to un- 
aelievers. As to the sign, it is proved in this case by the evidence 
which establishes that it was held for a great miracle, and that 
many were converted by it ; and hence it is clear that they must 
have been certainly aware that Francis Xavier could not have 
.earnt the languages, and they would not otherwise have marvelled 
at his being able to speak them. They illustrate this from the 
case of the Jews, who marvelled how our Lord knew letters, 

386 St. Francis Xavier. 

never having learnt them, and they say that St. Chrysostom states 
that this was miracle enough to have converted them. Then they 
mention a calculation that the languages of the nations among 
which Francis preached were at least thirty in number, very diffi 
cult to acquire, and such as no one even with long study can 
perfectly master so as to speak elegantly and fluently. On the 
other hand, Francis Xavier was only ten years and a half in the 
East, two and more of which were spent in Japan. Again, the 
writers remark that to speak a language elegantly and to speak it 
easily are different things, as also to speak it simply without great 
elegance ; but the two first named habits require very long practice 
and are acquired with great difficulty, whereas Francis Xavier 
had no time even to have practised speaking in the languages,, 
which he used nevertheless to speak as soon as he arrived in any 
place where they were spoken. They argue also, from his great 
occupation in other things and from there being no places where 
these languages were taught, that he could not have acquired 
them naturally. The auditors then prove that the second form 
of the gift the speaking in one language and being understood 
in many was a real instance of the gift of tongues and also was 
held as a miracle, from the account of the gift as it was given to 
the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. They also quote St. Cyprian 
(Serm. de Sp. Sto.} on this subject, and also Bozius de Signis Eccle> 
sice. They end by arguing that it was highly probable that Francis 
Xavier would have had this gift, inasmuch as it had been given 
to the Apostles to enable them to be of use to those to whom 
they were sent, and the power of being understood by many of 
different languages at the same time seemed necessary to them, so 
also as this servant of God was sent to the East for the salva 
tion of its peoples, it seems to follow that as in other respects he 
had received the spirit of the Apostles, so also in this respect he 
should be like unto them. 

(3.) Disputes at Amanguchi between Cosmo Torres and the Bonzes. 

We had prepared a translation of the letter of Joam Fer 
nandez to Francis Xavier, giving an account of the questions 
proposed at Amanguchi to Father Torres, and of the father s 
answers. But want of space compels us to sacrifice this interest 
ing document, with many others. It seems to have been used 
by the author of the Histoire de FEglise de Japan, and we may 
refer to the English translation (1705), t. i. p. 120 seq. 



Last Stay of Francis at Cochin and Goa. 

RAPID and active as were the movements of Francis Xavier at 
all times of his life, when he had once come to a decision as 
to the course which it was the will of God that he should imme 
diately pursue, the swiftness, energy, and industry which cha 
racterized him from the time that he had grown prematurely 
grey under his labours and privations in Japan seem wonderful 
even in him. It may well have astonished the Portuguese 
mariners of the time that he should have reached Cochin within 
very little more than two months after his departure from Fucheo. 
Except during the five days of terrible tempest which gave him 
the occasion to display so many features of Christian charity in 
the voyage from Japan to San Chan, the winds and seas seem 
almost to have been at his command. He stayed, as we have 
seen, but a few days at Malacca. Francesco Perez and Joam 
Bravo would tell him of the news from India, which showed 
him how greatly his presence was required there ; and indeed, 
if he met at Malacca the letter from Ignatius appointing him 
Provincial Superior, he would have needed no other spur to 
hasten his steps towards the country where so many of his sub 
jects were awaiting his direction. He made his arrangements 
with Diego Pereira for the expedition to China with great dis 
patch, and their arrangements required that he should be once 
more at Malacca before the summer was far advanced. He had 
thus not many weeks to spare before he must be again on his 
way to the furthest East. 

He had been absent from India not far short of three years 
a long time from the active, bustling, and changeful existence 
of the Portuguese settlers in Asia. He had left Don Garcia de 
Sa Governor of the Indies. Garcia de Sa had died about the 
time that Francis had reached Cagoxima, and had been sue- 

39 St. Francis Xavier. 

ceeded by Jorge Cabral, a gallant officer, who, as Faria y Sousa 
tells us, hesitated to accept the charge, expecting to be soon 
superseded by the arrival of a new Governor sent direct from 
Portugal. 1 In fact, before the end of the following year, 1550, 
Don Alfonso de Norofia arrived from Europe with the title of 
Viceroy to take the government from his hands, much to the 
loss of India, if we may judge from the tone of the Portuguese 
chronicler. The new Viceroy was the son of the Marquis de 
Villa Reale, and must have known Francis Xavier when in Por 
tugal. At all events, he was sure to do his best to help him in 
all that concerned the advancement of the faith, as far as his 
own powers extended. 2 

In many respects, though not in all, the news which Francis 
might have learnt at Malacca and at Cochin concerning the 
Society in India was such as might fairly rejoice his heart. His 
religious brethren had been generally labouring with great suc 
cess and edification to all, while the troubles which he was 
called upon to remedy were in the main the work of one or two 
men at the most. The general results of the Indian mission 
were so satisfactory, there had been so great and so fruitful a 
display of charitable selfdevotion and religious zeal, that about 
a year before Francis left Japan, his friend the Bishop of Goa 
had written to St. Ignatius at Rome, thanking him for the ser 
vices rendered by his children, and speaking of them in terms 
of the highest praise. We have already mentioned the heroic 
death of Antonio Criminale, which took place while Francis 
was waiting at Malacca to embark on his Japanese voyage. 
Another member of the Society had been martyred on the day 
on which he landed at Cagoxima. This was Nunez Ribero, 
whom he had sent to the Moluccas in 1548. We have seen in 

1 Jorge Cabral was Capitan at Bazain at the time of the death of Garcia 
de Sa, when the patents of succession were opened, appointing him to the 
Governorship. Faria y Sousa (t. ii. p. z, c. 7) gives a long argument be 
tween Cabral and his wife Dona Lucrecia Fiallo, who seems to have per 
suaded her husband to accept the office, non siempre son danosas las 
mugeres, says the historian. 

2 Lucena ( Vida, \. ix. c. 18) calls him antigo divoto do Padre M. Fran 

State of the Missions. 391 

what strong language Francis had spoken of the immense hard 
ships which were to be endured in the mission of the Moluccas, 
and of his expectation that those islands would soon be the scenes 
of martyrdom. The story of Nunez Ribero reads like a com 
mentary on the words of Francis. He laboured with the most 
boundless charity, both for the Portuguese sailors of the ships 
which had to wait a certain time at Amboyna, where he was 
stationed, and afterwards for the natives. He gave away every 
thing, even his own most necessary clothing. He lived in a 
state of privation which made the external conditions of his ex 
istence almost those of the savages to whom he was devoting 
himself. His life was more than once in danger from violence, 
and once he had nearly lost it after a shipwreck for want of 
food and shelter. He was at last poisoned at the instigation 
of some Mussulmans. 

We are, however, forced to conjecture that the mission of 
the Moluccas was not entirely p rospeYbus, in the truest sense 
of the term. We find that two of those whom Francis had sent 
thither from Malacca, when he himself was about to start for 
Japan, had in some way misconducted themselves probably 
they had committed some grave breach of obedience. These 
two were Manuel de Moraes and Francesco Gonzalez. We also 
find that Joam Beira himself was afterwards obliged to sail for 
India, in order, as it seems, to transact some business of im 
portance to his mission with the Viceroy at Goa. At this time, 
therefore, the young priest Alfonso de Castro was alone at his 
post in those dangerous isles. 

Ormuz, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, had been the scene 
of the heroic labours and glorious sacrifices of Caspar Baertz, 
who had shown the true apostolic spirit, and carried out most 
perfectly the instructions which Francis Xavier had given him. 3 
Caspar was now at Goa, awaiting the time at which he had 
been ordered to sail for Japan, and Father Joam Gonzalez. 

1 Father Caspar s work at Ormuz could not be done justice to in less 
than a separate chapter. It fills fifty pages of Bartoli s first volume of 
Asia. It is one of the many collateral subjects which want of space com 
pels us to abandon. 

392 St. Francis Xavier. 

Rodriguez had taken his place at Ormuz. The most conspicu 
ous conversion in India had been that of the Rajah of Tanore, 
already mentioned, which had been mainly due to the zeal and 
skill of Antonio Gomez. The movement towards a reform of 
manners among the Portuguese, which had been begun by 
Francis himself, and urged on by the Fathers who had arrived 
from Portugal in 1548 with Antonio, had been continued, and 
it was now a rare thing for any one to venture on a voyage, 
whether for commercial or military purposes, without first recon 
ciling himself to God by the reception of the sacraments. The 
King of Portugal had been so well pleased with the labours of 
the Society, as formally to commit to the care of its members 
all the seminaries of various kinds which he had founded through 
out India, and was more than ever bent on providing in Portu 
gal for an abundant supply of missioners for the East. 

There was much, therefore, of good tidings to greet Francis 
on his return from Japan. But the picture was not altogether 
without its dark side. At Cochin itself, where he was received 
with all demonstrations of joy and reverence, there were many 
hearts sore with indignation against others of the Society. When 
Francis had last visited Cochin, the inhabitants had entreated 
him to leave them Alfonso de Castro, that he might begin the 
foundation of a college for the benefit of the town. Francis had 
been unable to grant the request, but it seems to have been 
renewed, as to the foundation of a college, in his absence, to 
the Fathers Paul and Antonio Gomez; and as the latter had 
already usurped that fulness of authority in India from which 
Francis had so carefully excluded him, he had gone to Cochin 
himself to make arrangements in the matter. A church dedi 
cated to our Lady the Mother of God had been made over to 
him by the Confraternity to whom it belonged; but after a time 
the donors repented of their gift, and asked for the church back 
again. Gomez acted with a high hand. The Governor, Jorge 
Cabral, was his devoted friend, and when the complaints and 
murmurs became louder on his refusal to surrender the church, 
Gomez was not afraid to use his influence with the secular 
authorities, and have the chief movers on the part of the Con- 

Dismissals from the Society. 393 

fraternity cast into prison. Such an act of violence was unheard 
of in India, and was entirely contrary to the spirit of the Society. 
The first act of Francis Xavier was to set this trouble right. He 
begged the Vicar and the local magistrates to meet him, and 
assembled also the members of the Confraternity. Then he 
came before them with the keys of the church in his hands, and 
throwing himself on his knees, protested that he made no claim, 
nor would accept anything at all, except what their pure bounty 
chose to bestow upon him, and at the same time he asked par 
don in the humblest manner for what had been done in his 
absence. The whole company was moved to tears. The Con 
fraternity immediately assembled in formal council, and made 
a solemn and irrevocable donation of the church to the Society. 
Francis next punished the two refractory members of the 
Society who had returned from the Moluccas, Manuel de 
Moraes and Francesco Gonzalez, who seem to have been wait 
ing at Cochin, were sent on to Goa at the same time with the 
following letter. 

(xc.) To Father Paul of Gamer ino. 

May the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

Father Paul, Manuel de Moraes and Francesco Gonzalez 
are leaving this to go to you. As soon as they arrive and you 
have read this letter, you must go to his Lordship the Bishop 
at his palace, and tell him that you give back and restore to 
his authority the first mentioned father, who on account of his 
priestly character is specially subject to him, being no longer 
under the obedience of any religious society, inasmuch as I have 
informed you by letter that he is duly released from his vows and 
dismissed from the Society. Let his Lordship therefore make 
use of this subject, gifted with considerable talents for the eccle- 
siastical ministry, entirely as he pleases, with full right, since) 
the Society has cut him off from her own body, and given him, 

394 ^- Francis Xavier. 

back to his Lordship s authority with full liberty ; you must then 
tell Moraes himself that you dismiss him from the Society 
having received orders to do so from me. You must also send 
away Francesco Gonzalez, and tell him too that henceforth he 
must consider himself independent of us. You must not allow 
these two to live at the College any longer, or to have any in 
tercourse with our brothers, even of acquaintance and conver 
sation. It is very painful to me that they have done things 
which oblige me to come to this extreme decision, and what is 
more grievous still, I very much fear that they are not the only 
subjects to whom I must show the same severity. God our 
Lord knows how pierced to the heart with anguish I am in 
writing you this letter. 

I had hoped on returning hither to enjoy a little repose 
from the many toils I have undergone elsewhere, but now, in 
stead of consolations, I find more distressing troubles : suits 
undertaken out of wrongheaded excitement, quarrels, public 
differences, which cause offence to the people, and the like. 
These things are not indeed what I recommended when absent. 
As far as I see, many obey imperfectly or not at all. May God 
be praised for ever, and in all things ! 

You must write to Melchior Gonzalez, who is at Bazain, 
telling him to go at once to Goa, for I order him to do so. You 
must receive Balthasar Nunez into the house, and keep him 
there until my arrival. Do not receive a youth named Thomas 
Gonzalez, who is starting for Goa, until I come. Tell him, 
however, in the mean time, that if he wishes to serve God in 
the Society he must go to the Hospital, and there wait on the 
sick until I arrive, which, by God s grace, I hope will be soon. 
Go and visit the Bishop from me, and kiss his hand in my 
name. Tell him that I long above all things to present myself 
to his illustrious Lordship, hoping to receive sweet fruit and 
consolation to my soul from his most delightful company, and 
that I hope then to express by word of mouth how obliged I 
am to him for all his favours and kindnesses, which have been 
too great for me ever to repay or even sufficiently to estimate. 
I have a great longing to see again our brothers at Goa, and 

At Goa. 395 

especially our fathers, from whose conversation I expect no 
little consolation. Adieu. 

Yours entirely in Jesus Christ, 
Cochin, Feb. 4, 1552. FRANCIS. 

Early in February, Francis himself arrived at Goa. A large 
numbers of fathers and other members of the Society were await 
ing him at the College of Santa Fe, for several had been ad 
mitted in his absence by Father Paul of Camerino; others had 
come to Goa, as Caspar Baertz, in consequence of letters from 
himself, or from some other cause, and no less than twelve had 
arrived from Portugal in the preceding year. Francis on land 
ing preceded first to the hospitals of the city to visit the 
sick his general custom when he returned from a distance 
and thence to the monasteries of other religious orders. After 
this he went on to Santa Fe, where he was received with tears 
of joy and devotion. After embracing the fathers and brothers 
collected at the door, he asked if they had any one in the house 
who was sick. He was told that there was one, whose life was 
despaired of by the doctors. He went up at once to the sick 
man s cell, laid his hand upon his head, read a Gospel over 
him, and gave him his blessing. The sick man, who had heard 
of his arrival, and had been praying to see him, recovered almost 
immediately, and lived for many years afterwards. 

The majority of those assembled at Santa Fe had never 
seen the grey-haired man of five and forty whom they received 
with so much reverence. We may gather from what Francis 
wrote to St. Ignatius about reserve in admitting novices in 
India, that there had been somewhat too much of freedom used 
in this respect by the good Father Paul of Camerino, and, in 
deed, one of the first things done by Francis Xavier on this 
visit to Goa, was to send away a number of novices whom he 
judged useless for the Society. Some of those, however, who 
had entered the order at Goa during his absence were noted 
for their services in after time. These were Simon de Vera and 
Fernand de Osorio, both of whom died in the Moluccas after 
very great labours in the cause of religion. Another, Pedro de 

396 St. Francis Xavier. 

Alcageva, was to become famous for the care with which he 
brought home to India the body of Francis Xavier himself, as 
well as for many years of most faithful ministrations to the 
young boys of the College. Simon Rodriguez had sent thirteen 
from Lisbon, many of whom afterwards rendered glorious ser 
vices to religion. Melchior Nunez Barreto, a priest, was the 
Superior of all on the voyage. He had two brothers in the 
Society, one of whom was Joam Nunez Barreto, the Patriarch 
of Ethiopia. Melchior had been eight years in the Society 
when he left Portugal, having entered religion on the same day 
on which he had received the cap of Doctor in the University 
of Coimbra. We shall find Francis selecting him at once for an 
important post at Bazain. The same may be said of Father 
Antonio Eredia, who was at first appointed by Francis to be 
the Rector at Cochin, and afterwards transferred to a still more 
laborious work at Ormuz, where he displayed the same heroic 
charity which Caspar Baertz had learnt from the instructions 
and examples of Francis himself. There was another Father 
Manuel de Moraes or Moralez, to take the place of him whom 
Francis had just dismissed. The number was made up by 
Gonsalvo Rodriguez, Cristoval de Costa, Melchior Diaz, and 
Alexio Madeira, all of whom seem to have been priests. The 
rest were brothers, though some of them were afterwards or 
dained. One Brother, Jorge Nunez, lost his life during the 
voyage, having caught a dangerous disease while attending on 
the sick. 

The College of Santa Fe, as has been already hinted, had 
been seriously injured by the Rector, Antonio Gomez, and 
Francis found the city full of complaints on that score. Antonio 
seems to have brought from Europe his own ideas about the 
proper management of a College, drawn from the University of 
Paris and the College of Coimbra. We have seen that Francis 
Xavier had thought it best to leave the arrangement of the 
College entirely in his hands. Antonio used his power without 
any moderation, and his manner was as haughty and peremptory 
as his measures were violent. First the order of time and the 
domestic arrangements were changed ; then a severe accuracy 

The College of Santa Fe. 397 

and perfection of regularity were exacted, under pain of sharp 
punishments, of the lads of the Seminary, as if they had been the 
novices of a religious order, rather than children but recently 
acquainted with the elements of the Christian faith. Disorders 
and discontent broke out among their ranks ; complaints were 
made to persons outside the College ; some boys ran away, or 
tried to scale the walls by night At last Antonio Gomez dis 
missed the entire number of boys who remained, and filled the 
College with children of the Portuguese. The whole city was 
scandalized ; but Antonio was strong in the support of the ex 
isting Governor, Jorge Cabral, and for the time nothing could 
!be done. Father Paul of Camerino, forbidden by Francis 
IXavier himself to interfere with Gomez in the management of 
ithe College, could do nothing, and Gomez had even practically 
lusurpedthe power which belonged of right to Paul himself, and 
^assumed the government of the whole Society in India. 4 

Gomez seems to have had other faults, at which the bio- 
^aphers of Francis only hint. He was a hot-brained man, 
j iven to prophecies and fanciful prognostications, some of which 
tie was obliged publicly to apologize for. His great favour with 
Jorge Cabral, certain unpopular acts of whom were attributed 
|!:o his counsels, brought about a strong set of popular feeling 
igainst him when the new Viceroy had been installed, and 

4 Bartoli (Asia, t. i. p. 321, 322) tells the story in a somewhat different 

jivay, saying that Gomez had begun his innovations, as well as claimed 

: minority even to coerce by force any who resisted his will, before Francis 

iavier left India for Japan in 1 549. lie says that Francis then deposed 

lim, but that Gomez, strongly supported by some official personages, who 

loped by his means to recover the favour of the king which they had for- 

eited, managed to get himself retained in Goa, and even confirmed in his 

.uthority in the College. It is always hazardous to differ from Bartoli, 

iivho, besides being an accurate \\riter, had access to documents which, 

[towever, he seldom quotes which may not be accessible to us. Still it 

jj.ppears that the letters of Francis, which are our best guide in such mat- 

iiers, do not lead us to suppose any violent outbreak on the part of Gomez 

ii>efore the date when Francis left India in 1549. And Bartoli, in the places 

o which we have referred, speaks of the Governor Jorge Cabral as the 

jeat support of the innovating Rector. Jorge Cabral did not succeed as 

iovernor till after Francis Xavier left for Japan. It is, however, quite 

possible that Bartoli may be right, as his account is not absolutely incon- 

istent with the letters to which we refer. 

398 St. Francis Xavier. 

when the late Governor was on his way to Portugal, and so 
could not himself bear the odium which, rightly or wrongly, he 
had incurred. Gomez, however, had still very powerful friends 
at Goa. When Francis arrived, he at once deprived him of all 
authority, making Gaspar Baertz Rector of the College. He 
then dismissed the Portuguese lads, who had supplanted the 
native boys as the inhabitants of Santa Fe. Gomez appears to 
have been foolish enough to endeavour to screen himself from 
punishment by the intercession of his friends outside. The 
Viceroy himself is said to have been interested in protecting 
him. Francis Xavier was not likely to yield an inch to such 
influences. He determined to send Gomez away to Diu, with 
peremptory orders not to move from the place without leave. 
Every effort was made that he might be allowed to remain in 
Goa, but Francis was absolutely inflexible, and even now made 
up his mind, unless he saw great amendment, to dismiss him 
from the Society. He gave him, however, a chance, as we have 
said, sending him to Diu, far to the north, and he may perhaps 
have thought it better that he should be sent to Europe before 
his dismissal. It seems that he afterwards determined that he 
should be dismissed in India. Antonio s end was very miser 
able. He set sail, after his dismissal, for Portugal, with some 
idea, as it would seem, of appealing to Ignatius Loyola ; but 
the ship in which he sailed was wrecked, and he lost his life. 

The letters of the fathers from India of this date speak of the 
joy and devotion caused in all hearts by the presence and con 
versation of Francis Xavier. Melchior Nunez speaks of him as 
a man who though living upon earth seemed to have his con 
versation in heaven ; of his immense charity and zeal for souls, 
which made him ready to do anything in the world to serve 
them ; of his great confidence in all dangers and trials ; and oi 
his joyous affable conversation, while at the same time he was 
so recollected that it seemed as if he was in continual prayer. 
* His great desires for the honour of God fill me with astonish 
ment, says Melchior, as also his wonderful patience in bearing 
with the defects of others, his humility and condescension. He 
adds that Father Gaspar was very like Francis in his confidence 

Care of the Religious. 399 

and affability. Francis undertook many works for the glory of 
God in the city, and also paid great attention, as we are told, 
to the religious community under his charge, frequently assem 
bling them, and speaking to them on spiritual subjects, the love 
of their vocation, the practice of self-knowledge and self-abase 
ment, as well as of all other virtues, but especially of obedience, 
We shall have to insert presently some of the instructions 
which, as these letters tell us, he wrote for the fathers who were 
going to a distance. 

In truth, we now find ourselves, as in the case of the time 
spent by Francis Xavier among the Paravas and in Travancor, 
at a period of his life the narrative of which might be very 
short except for the abundance of the letters and instructions 
which remain to us from his pen. He seems to have remained 
at Goa till the time came for him to sail for Cochin, there to 
embark for Malacca, and the intervening weeks are marked by 
very few incidents. But he was now, more than at any time of 
his life, chiefly occupied with the arrangement of the province 
confided to his care by St. Ignatius. The Provincial Superiors 
of the Society are usually fixed within the limits of their govern 
ment, and find little time to devote themselves to external 
works for the advancement of religion. Francis Xavier, how 
ever, had to provide for the administration of his province 
during what might perhaps be as long an absence as that which 
had been ended by his return from Japan. The Society had 
suffered much during that last absence, and it was his duty, as 
well as his anxiety, to provide against the recurrence of such 
troubles. The extraordinary circumstances of the case, under 
which he had to discharge the functions of an Apostle as well 
as of a religious Superior, abundantly account for all that he 
did, and we shall see that Ignatius Loyola himself considered 
while he was as yet ignorant of the fact that if he had gone 
to China he had done what he was prompted to do by the Holy 
Ghost. Afterwards, when Melchior Nunez was Provincial, and 
. left India for Japan, Ignatius did not approve it. We must 
look on it as a Providential blessing, that Francis Xavier was 
called to a distance so soon after entering more formally 

4OO St. Francis Xavier. 

than before on the regular duties of a Superior. We have thus 
gained what we might otherwise have lost, the detailed instruc 
tions in writing which he gave to more than one of his religious 
subjects at this time. Put by the side of his long instruction 
to Caspar Baertz, already inserted, and with certain passages 
of his letters, these instructions may be said almost to form a 
code for the guidance of religious workers and religious Su 
periors. They are among the purest effusions of his loving and 
tender heart, of his heavenly wisdom, of his wonderful experi 
ence of men, and they show us in a particular manner the 
identity of his spirit as to all matters relating to religious life 
with that of St. Ignatius himself. At the time when Francis 
left Europe, the rules of the Society were unwritten, except as 
to its great principles, and the system of government, neces 
sarily the result of experience growing into form as the order 
developed, was as yet in its infancy, except, again, as to its 
principles. Yet we find the most perfect harmony between 
the instincts of Francis Xavier as expressed in these instruc 
tions, and the system of Ignatius as unfolded in the Constitu 

These considerations may excuse us if we arrange the letters 
and documents of this time not quite in their chronological 
order, though we shall depart but little in this respect from the 
ordinary arrangement. But it may be well to group together 
the letters to the same persons, or to the same class of persons. 
We shall begin with a short series of letters addressed to the 
father lately mentioned, Melchior Nunez, whom Francis sent 
to take charge of the mission and College at Bazain. The Col 
lege, of which mention has already been made, 5 seems now to 
have been handed over to the Society, and to have had con 
siderable revenues attached to it for charitable and missionary 
purposes. The first part of the letter which now follows is the 
formal document by which Melchior is appointed Superior. 

* (PP- 89. 2 75-) 

The College at Bazain. 40 1 

(xci.) To Father Melchior Nunez Barreto. 

I, Francis, knowing well, Father Melchior Nunez, your virtue 
and prudence, and confiding therein, command that this whole 
house of Bazain be subject to you, and by my authority I order 
you to take in hand the government of this entire community, and 
:he receipt and administration of the revenues belonging to this 
louse assigned for the maintenance of the members of our So 
ciety who are dispersed in different parts. I command that from 
the day you duly enter upon the possession of this government 
which I commit to you, not only all the fathers and brothers re 
siding at Bazain shall recognize you as their Rector, and obey you 
absolutely as such, but also the members of the Society who may 
come thither occasionally on their way to Diu; or elsewhere, as 
iong as they remain, are to be subject to your authority, unless it 
be shown by a paper in my own handwriting that I, or that the 
Rector of the house of Santa Fe at Goa, have exempted them. 
During my absence you will obey the said Rector as you would 
obey our Father Ignatius. This is my deliberate order, and as 
a signification and proof of this my will, I sign this paper with my 
own hand. 

Goa, College of St. Paul, Feb. 29, 1552. FRANCIS. 

I will add here the advice and orders which I should wish 

to follow in the fulfilment of your office. 

I will begin by the care of the revenues, which the King 
and the Governors of India in his name have generously granted 
to the Society, not only for the wants of our members at Bazain, 
3ut also for those here at Goa and the residences depending 
upon it. In the first place, I wish you diligently to find out 
Tom Melchior Gonzalez, who has now for a long time been 
charged with collecting and spending these revenues, exactly 
aow much of such money he has received, what has been actu 
ally paid, what remains to his account ; and you must give me 
an exact report in writing of what you thus discover, as I am 
anxious to know it. Tell me also with perfect exactness pre 
cisely the sum in specie that the same Father Gonzalez may 
hand over to you when you enter on your office. 

Next, in disposing of these sums, you ought to have great 
:onsideration for the needs of our brethren here, and of the 


402 St. Francis Xavier. 

house of Goa, which is burthened with debt, as well as the re 
sidences of Cochin, Coulan, and Comorin, which all receive, or 
rather expect to receive, their support from Goa. Our unfor 
tunate brethren there ask for aid oftener than they receive it, 
and for the most part are forced to battle for a length of time 
with destitution, my intimate knowledge of which makes me| 
very miserable. Although his Highness amongst his many chari 
ties has granted them certain pensions, yet these are generally 
not paid, on account of the embarrassments of the treasuiy, 
pensions on which are but niggardly discharged in this country. 
So I consider it just that you should spend, out of the annual 
rents you have received or are to receive at Bazain, just what 
mere necessity requires for the food and clothing of your own 
community, without going beyond such necessity ; and I beg] 
of you, in the name of God s service and of charity, to bear in : l 
mind that it is not right that you and yours, because you are 
at the source of our supplies, should enjoy a superabundance, 
whilst our brethren, who bear the burthen and heat of the day, 
and who have just as much right to what comes from that 
source, being far off, are forced to grow old before the time in 
misery and squalor. I beg of you therefore to cut things down 
even to the quick, so as to be able to have a considerable sum 
over and above your own wants to pass on to those charged 
with the administration of the College of Goa, who may em 
ploy it in aiding our brethren of Cape Comorin, Coulan, and 
Cochin, who are spreading the kingdom of Jesus Christ with 
infinite labour and suffering ; so that if any thought of building 
where you are should rise in your mind, beware of doing so 
without seeing an actual and absolute necessity. 

Moreover, with regard to the daily expenses of yourself 
and of our brethren and the pupils of the Seminary, use such 
frugality as may allow the expenditure to be as small as pos 
sible. But understand that I do not by this enjoin on you to 
be parsimonious in an odious and unbecoming degree, I even 
forbid you positively to retrench anything from the real neces 
sities of the house and its inmates ; all I ask is, that considering 
and pitying the extreme distress under which the evangelical 

The College at Bazain. 403 

labourers (especially on the Coast of Comorin) are suffering, 
you should, out of charity, limit yourself to what is absolutely 
required, until at least there is some provision made for the 
wants of this much afflicted Church. I say, with the tears in 
my eyes, that many children die there unbaptized, simply be 
cause funds are wanting to enable our priests to exist in the 
>oorest manner. If they were on the spot, and able to be 
going about incessantly, as they ought, everywhere round those 
most unfortunate settlements, they would always be in time to 
regenerate the children to Christ before their death. 

With regard to the way of collecting your rents, this is what 
[ thought of advising: it does not seem suitable that you should 
collect them yourself, or by any of ours. You must use the 
services of one or more of your lay friends, making them, as it 
were, your procurators for this business. In the first place, make 
pur choice of good pious men, regular in their religious duties, 
for the purpose men who, in common life, are considered just 
and upright, and show their piety by frequenting the sacraments 
of Confession and Communion. It would even be advisable to 
give these persons some meditations to make, out of those of 
the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises. I am, in the next 
place, desirous that wealthy people with some property of their 
own should be made choice of for this matter, if there be any 
such to choose from. My reason for preferring them to a poorer 
class is chiefly that a great part of income of this sort has to be 
gathered from people of small means, such as artisans, who 
barely live by the daily work of their hands ; most of them are 
unable to pay at the given time, and if the collectors do not 
allow the payment to stand over, the poor men are prosecuted 
at great loss to themselves ; but they will easily get indulgence 
from wealthy men, especially if they are virtuous and inclined 
to be merciful; and such men can easily advance the money out 
of their own substance, looking to receive it in due time, while 
men of smaller means are inexorable, exacting the rigour of the 
law, taking pledges, and seizing the property of their unfortu 
nate debtors if they have not ready money at hand to pay at 
the given time. 

404 S/. Francis Xavier. 

But, above all, for the ardent longing you have to obey and 
be pleasing to God our Lord, I beg and entreat of you to give 
no one any offence or just cause of complaint. You will do as 
I wish if the people see that you are always modest, humble, 
quite removed from all kind of pretension. So you ought to 
begin your government, by giving proofs to the world of your 
profound abasement, fulfilling openly the most humble employ 
ments in the hospitals and prisons, ministering to the poor, 
teaching the ignorant people and young children. These works 
please all, and will endear you at once to the people, and when 
they have conceived an affection for you they will not easily be 
inclined to interpret badly your words and actions. Be careful, 
however, after having made a good beginning, not to let yourself 
grow weary, out of confidence in your past successes. But go 
on generously, making it your aim to become more and more 
perfect, and let the people see that this is your determination. 
If your industry slackens, you cannot remain where you were 
in favour and grace ; you will sink to a lower level than that 
from whence you rose, since in these matters if any one ceases 
to advance, he is carried backwards even against his will. 

The next letter to Nunez is a few weeks later. He was a 
very successful missioner at Bazain, labouring indefatigably for 
the improvement of the Christians and the conversion of the 
heathen, and spending a large part of the night in prayer, and in 
the day preparing his sermons. He preached, we are told, twice 
on Sundays and feasts, and four times during the week besides; 
his sermons produced great conversions, and he had often, on 
leaving the pulpit, to devote the rest of the day to hearing the 
confessions of those who were brought to repentance by what 
he had said. We find Francis commending his method of pre 
paration and preaching, which he must have submitted to him 
by letter, and also acquiescing in his difficulties about appro 
priating the revenues of his College, which seems to have been 
liberally endowed by the King, to the needs of other houses. 
This is a sufficient commentary on the two letters which follow. 

Letter to Melchior Nunez. 405 

(xcn.) To Father Melchior Nunez. 

I beg you most earnestly and desire of you that, for the love 
which you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the desire which you 
have for the glory of God, you make it your study everywhere 
to be a good savour of Christ, and set yourself as an ex 
ample of all virtues to the city in which you are, and avoid 
altogether giving any offence to the people. You will succeed 
in what I say, if moderation and Christian humility shine out in 
all you do. So at the beginning you must exercise yourself 
diligently in humble and abject offices, and then the people of 
the town will be won to you in this manner, and will take what 
ever you do in good part ; much more, of course, if they see 
that you persevere in the cause with daily increased ardour. 
Wherefore I earnestly pray you not to forget your own progress 
in virtue : for you are well aware that one who does not make 
progress in virtue, goes backwards. 

I again, then, ask of you and beg of you for the sake of 
God, let your example excite the people to piety. If you are 
well furnished with humility of mind and with prudence, I do 
not doubt that you will both reap good results from your labours 
and become a really good preacher. Humility and prudence 
are the parents and teachers of many great deeds. You must 
visit very often the hospitals and the prisons. These offices of 
Christian humility, besides that they are pleasing to God and 
helpful to men, have also the effect of making people esteem 
highly those who practise them and respect them much, even 
though they have not the office of preachers nor any facility of 

You must diligently gain to yourself and keep as diligently 
the love of the Commandant, the Vicar, the clergy, the Brethren 
of Mercy, the King s magistrates, and indeed the whole city. 
This general regard is of great moment to enable missioners to 
turn in the right direction the wills of men, both by preaching 
and by hearing confessions, and paying visits. It is my great 
desire that in your work of cherishing and increasing this new 

406 St. Francis Xavier. 

Christian community, you should be aided by the authority and 
assistance of the Commandant, the Vicar, and the Brethren of 
the Confraternity of Mercy. Take pains, therefore, that what 
ever increase may accrue to the worship of God by means of 
you be all attributed to their exertions. Thus it will be that 
they will give more help to your endeavours, and hinder them 
less. You will also gain another thing that in your diffi 
culties and contentions you will have many more friends and 
protectors, and fewer adversaries, or rather none at all. For 
who will venture to attack you, when you are known to be 
covered by the protection of men of such position ? So if at 
any time you are writing to the King of Portugal about the pro 
pagation of the faith, you must make honourable and grateful 
mention of their remarkable zeal for Christian interests, and if 
you think well you may show them your letters, and by all 
means ask the King to let them know that their good offices 
towards us and towards religion have been very pleasing to his 
Highness, and to speak in the letters in approbation of their 
zeal in such a way, as to attribute to them chiefly, after God, 
all the increase that has been made in the divine worship and 
the Christian religion. 

You must never write to the King except about matters re 
lating to religion, and to the conversion of the heathen. As to 
all other matters, you ought to write to the Society in Portugal. 
In order to avoid giving offence to people, I should wish you 
not to collect the revenues of the College and of the new con 
verts, either in person or through any other of the Society, if this 
can be avoided, but rather by means of some pious man fit for 
the commission. For I do not suppose it would be difficult to 
find some wealthy person to act as agent, so that he may neither 
manage the business at any risk to our income, nor be too vexa 
tious in his exaction from the poor. Such a man you should 
instruct in meditation on divine truths, then lead him on to fre 
quent the sacraments, and then, with his own goodwill de 
sire, set over the business of which I speak. May God in His 
goodness unite us in Heaven ! 

Goa, April. 

Letter to Melchior Nunez. 407 

(xcm.) To Father Melchior Nunez, at Bazain. 

May the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be ever 
with us to help and favour us ! Amen. 

A namesake of yours, Melchior Gonzalez, has given me your 
letter, which I have read with no small pleasure. May God 
give you the grace to scatter a good odour on Society where 
you are, now that there is so much feeling of offence against us 
among the people there. I pray and conjure you with all the 
earnestness I can, by all the desire which you have to serve and 
please God our Lord, take the most efficacious means in your 
power to concilitate people to yourself and to the Society, and 
to leave nothing undone, however difficult, that comes in your 
way to do to this end. If you are humble and prudent, I am 
in great hopes that by God s help you will gain great fruit there. 
I send to you from this Francesco Enriquez, that he may stay 
at Tana with Manuel. Osorio may remain with you for house 
hold duties, and Barreto to teach reading and writing; you 
yourself, meanwhile, being occupied in spiritual ministrations, 
and in conversing piously and holily with men of all sorts, as 
well as in explaining the Christian doctrine and in preaching. 

As for your sermons, I have been very much pleased with 
what you write to me as to your system of preparation, as to the 
form and whole method which you have determined to follow 
in them. I think you should keep to this method, and practise 
yourself in the manner you suggest as often as possible, for I 
hope in good confidence that the favour of God will not be 
wanting to you, that if you are humble you will turn out a great 
preacher. Send Francesco Lopez to this College by the first 
ship which sails hitherwards from you. Take care often to read 
over the written instructions I have given you as to the way of 
carrying on the advancement of the Gospel where you are. You 
will learn many other things from you own practice and the ex 
perience of events, if you are humble and prudent, if you care 
fully watch what occurs, considering and comparing all with the 
advice and orders which you have received from hence. Fran- 

408 St. Francis Xavier. 

cesco Enriquez is to live at Tana, whither he is now sent, under 
your authority. I should wish you to give him an order of obe 
dience most diligently to avoid giving offence to any one, and to 
show himself meek and signally patient on all occasions. You 
must also inquire from others, by means of watchers whom you 
can trust, whether he or any one else of ours give to anybody 
a just cause ot offence. If you find that it is so, meet the mat 
ter at once without delay, applying some fitting remedy to the 
evil. Thus it is that I would have you watch first over yourself, 
and then over others. But if you should find any one of ours 
guilty of a serious sin which goes so far as to give public scan 
dal, and to irritate the people against us not altogether without 
reason, then at once dismiss him from the Society; for I now 
from this moment consider as dismissed those whom you may ] 
dismiss. For I have so much confidence in your prudence, that 
I am certain that no one will be sent away by you except for just 

As to the annual income of your College, take care that it 
is spent rather in the building up of spiritual temples than of 
those which are sensible and material. Of this second class of 
sacred buildings, which have to be raised up of wood or stone, 
you must spend money upon none, except such as are abso 
lutely necessary, such as you cannot refuse to build without the 
very gravest public inconvenience. If any plans of building 
are set before you with no other recommendation than that they 
will improve the splendour of decoration or present a more 
stately outside, decline them on the ground that it is requisite 
to postpone them to more urgent calls, and they can well be put 
off to more convenient times. Whatever you may have over and 
above from your income, spend, as I told you, in educating 
native boys in wholesome knowledge and good manners. For 
these are spiritual temples in which God is better honoured than 
in others, since when these boys have grown up to be men, they 
will by means of their good example, and by spreading the 
teaching which has been given them, be instruments for God of 
matters which most greatly concern His glory and the salvation 
of men. 

Letter to Melchior Nunez. 409 

A few days ago I sent you from hence Paul of Guzerat, who 
has been a pupil of this College for many years. He is a good 
speaker in the language of the people, and is sufficiently fur 
nished with learning to teach the elements of the faith to the 
Christian natives. He would also be able to preach usefully 
to the people, if some of ours who are not so ready as he is in 
the vernacular would supply, as occasion requires, his lack of 
fuller erudition, by putting his arguments in proper shape and 
giving him matter for his sermons. 

I quite approve of what you say in your letter about the 
revenue of the College, that you think we should faithfully take 
care that it be spent according to the intention of the King, as 
signified in the document of its foundation. That is just what 
I also wish by all means to be done, both because it is an 
obligation of justice to do so, and in order that the people 
may not be scandalized, seeing which God forbid that this is 
neglected. But after you have abundantly provided for the 
needs of all the poor who are at Bazain, according to the pre 
scription of the royal diploma, then, if there is any surplus, there 
can be no doubt that it would be rightly spent, and spent not 
against the King s will, in contributing to the aid of the poor 
boys we have here, especially those who are natives of Bazain, 
and those who may hereafter be useful there, as we see in the 
instance of this Paul of Guzerat. So if out of the collection of 
clothes which is usually distributed every year from the funds 
of your College to the poor at Bazain you have any bundles of 
stuff which are not wanted by the people there, you may send 
them to us, if at least this can be done without any complaint 
or offence on the part of any one. For we have here a seminary 
full of lads, for whose clothing the arrival of such a present 
would be very convenient on the condition, however, as I 
said, that nothing at all be taken away from any of the poor at 
Bazain, who have the first right to the benefit of this bounty 
of his Highness. You must see, therefore, that the wants and 
desires of all these are faithfully satisfied, in order that our 
consciences may be free from burthen and for the greater ser 
vice of God. If, when this obligation has been fulfilled, no 

410 St. Francis Xavier. 

crumbs remain for you to scatter in this direction, then we 
will make up our minds to bear contentedly the absence of 
such aid. 

For the rest, apply yourself entirely to the exercise of preach 
ing and of hearing confessions, visiting and consoling the sick 
in the hospital, and the prisoners in the gaol, and in other like 
works of charity to your neighbour, being always ready to run 
to all duties of the kind as often as you are invited to them by 
the managers of the Confraternity of Mercy, whose special busi 
ness they are. If you practise such ministrations with charity 
and humility, the result will be, by the good gift of God, that 
you will have favour and authority with the citizens, and how 
ever little natural eloquence you may possess, yet that little 
which you are able to bring to bear will do much, because it 
will be strengthened by the companionship of zeal and modesty, 
and by means of it you will produce a great movement among 
the minds of the people, and gather in very rich fruits. Only 
take care and this I press upon your attention again and 
again take care to keep up the closest union and friendship 
with the Bishop s Vicar and the other priests in the place, 
with the Commandant, the magistrates, and the King s officials, 
and conduct yourself prudently, kindly, humbly, and with thor 
ough goodwill towards the whole population. Believe me, the 
best hope of success in preaching is not to be placed in ex 
quisite learning, or elegant diction, or in display, or in a sort 
of scenic exhibition of eloquence. The head and sum of the 
art lies in being approved of by those whom you address, and 
in pleasing them, and in gaining the keys of their hearts before 
you knock at the doors of their ears. If your audience love 
you, you will persuade them to do whatever you will, and you 
will easily win a great many souls to God if you never alienate 
any one from yourself. 

Next September, at which time I hope to be at Malacca, 
let me find full and copious letters to meet me there from you, 
informing me distinctly and minutely of the fruit of your minis 
trations. You should write also to the fathers of this College, 
and of course much oftener, on account of your near neigh- 

Joam Gonzalez Rodriguez. 411 

bourhood and of the multitude of persons who pass from the 
one place to the other. May our Lord God bring us together 
in the glory of Paradise ! Amen. 

Your brother in Christ, 
Goa, April 3, 1552. FRANCIS. 

We may place next in order a letter addressed to the father 
who had been sent to Ormuz to take the place of Caspar 
Baertz. We know but little of him, and even his name is vari 
ously given. He seems either to have been admitted into the 
Society in India by Father Paul, or to have come from Spain, 
and not from Portugal in the usual way. It would appear that 
he had shown himself at Ormuz rather as a disciple of Antonio 
Gomez in some of his less mischievous characteristics than a 
follower of Master Caspar. He was likely to give offence and 
go wrong unless he was corrected betimes. Francis Xavier, 
therefore, speaks to him with the utmost plainness, and even 
threatens him with dismissal from the Society, while at the 
same time he assures him that he believes him to be strong 
enough in virtue not to take the reprehension badly. We are 
glad to know that this Joam Gonzalez Rodriguez lived to serve 
the cause of religion with great earnestness and success. 

(xciv.) To Father Joam Gonzalez Rodriguez. 

God our Lord knows how much I should have preferred to 
converse with you face to face rather than write to you from a 
distance. There are many things which can be treated much 
more quickly and more effectually by word of mouth than by 
letters, always so slow in themselves, and silent in the event of 
an unforeseen objection. I was delighted to hear what I did 
of you from persons who had recently left you, but I should 
have felt rather more joy if I had received from their hands a 
letter from you, telling me of the fruits of your labours at 
Ormuz, or, to speak more modestly, the fruits which God has 
vouchsafed to produce through you, as also those which He 
would produce if He could trust you more fully, but which He 

412 St. Francis Xavier. 

is compelled not to bring about, in consequence of the oppo 
sition He meets with from the faults and imperfections by 
which you oppose His desires. These obstacles on your part 
hinder Him from manifesting Himself by you. You ought to 
accuse yourself unceasingly of this impediment to grace, and 
to grieve in humiliation and penance that by your own fault 
you are not a fitting instrument in the hand of God for the 
great and glorious works which He had prepared. Hence 
there is an immense loss, for which you alone are to blame, 
both of glory, which would have gone back to God were it not 
for you, and of spiritual fruit in the souls under your charge, 
from falling on which divine graces and blessings very great 
and without number are hindered, simply because you are 
not what you ought to be. Dwell therefore diligently on the 
thought of the very severe account which will be required of 
you at the day of the last great judgment of all the good things 
which God was desirous of bestowing and was ready to give, 
but which you have hindered Him from giving. 

One thing I command you absolutely to be very obedient 
to the Bishop s Vicar, so as neither to preach, nor hear confes 
sions, nor celebrate mass without his approbation and con 
sent; and never forget that this is not my advice only, but 
my order. You are forbidden (in virtue of holy obedience) to 
disagree with the Vicar Episcopal from any cause whatever, or 
even to have any quarrel with him. Labour with all zeal at 
those occupations which you can discharge in peace and har 
mony with him. I am confident, on account of what I think 
of his virtue and charity, that if he sees you humble and obe 
dient, he will be more ready to grant you liberally the faculties 
which you require than you will be to ask for them. You 
must show great veneration and respect to the other priests ; 
carefully avoid ever showing a low opinion of any, or giving 
the slightest offence by contemptuous conduct. Make all your 
friends, and give them the example of perfect obedience to the 
Vicar Episcopal that so the whole people may learn to emu 
late the priests in paying that full and entire obedience to the 
Vicar which is due. I would have you think so much of the 

Letter to yoam Gonzalez Rodriguez. 413 

fruit of such an example as to be convinced that by showing 
others this humility you will do them much more good than 
by a hundred sermons. Be careful to avoid all singularity, 
showing yourself off to the world, and seeking to catch popu 
lar favour ; rather let it be seen that you turn with horror from 
all aiming at fame and vainglory. A great many members of 
our Society have suffered very much from this ostentation and 
vain desire to appear singularly perfect. I have sent away 
several from the Society since my return from Japan, because 
I found them infected with this fault amongst others. Take 
heed to yourself to be diligent to avoid committing such a 
fault, which might lead to your being dismissed also. In order 
to live in the Society with those sentiments of humility which 
are suitable to it, bear in mind how much more necessary the 
Society is to you than you to the Society. Watch then, always, 
never to forget yourself; if any one forgets himself, can one 
hope that he will be mindful of others? I write these lines 
inspired by my real and tender love towards you, and because 
I hear frequent little bits of bad news that you are observed to 
be less humble, less inclined to obey, than is needful for the 
example which you should give to the people of Ormuz. 

I have begged Master Caspar to write to you, because he 
knows the town and inhabitants of Ormuz by great experience, 
gained by the long sojourn he has made there; and I hoped 
that he could give you good and useful advice touching your 
conduct in that place as suits the interest of the greater service 
of our Lord God. You ought then -to have the same respectful 
feeling as to his letters that you have as to mine. I say more, 
I command you to comply with the advice his letters con 
tain, as if I had written them myself, and to obey the orders 
they may contain. I wish you not to let yourself be entangled 
in cases of marriage, nor ever to absolve, without the counsel 
and consent of the Vicar Episcopal, those who have contracted 
clandestine alliances ; and I command you thus in virtue of 
holy obedience. When Master Caspar went to Ormuz, I gave 
him in writing certain rules to follow when there. I hear he 
left you a copy of these instructions at Ormuz. I beg you to 

414 St. Francis Xavier. 

read it over every week, so that you may always have fresh in 
your memory the precepts therein collected, and that your 
actions may be guided thereby. I feel sure that this will help 
you to walk according to a sure method in the service of God. 
So much am I convinced that the interest of God s greater 
service requires you to show perfect obedience and submis 
sion to the Vicar, that I order you, by virtue of holy obedience, 
as soon as you receives this letter so enjoining you, to go and 
kneel down before him, and humbly implore him to forgive 
you all the acts of disobedience and other faults besides by 
which you have grieved him up to this time. You must then 
kiss his hand, declaring that in so doing you do what I have 
ordered you to do. At the same time let him tell you what 
he wishes you to do, and you must obey his orders scrupu 
lously. That this perfect unity between you and the Vicar 
Episcopal may not be of short duration, but remain good and 
firm always, you must visit him once a week and kiss his hand, 
as a pledge both of your submission and obedience to him. 
Take care never to fail in this duty, even if your nature rebels, 
and though you are obliged to do violence to your judgment 
and inclination in performing it. For all this must be done, 
in order to confound the malice of the devil, the father of dis 
cord and disobedience. 

Be careful in preaching never to attack or wound any one, 
directly or by allusion, nor to put forth opinions and doctrines 
with too much refinement or speculation in them, or such as to 
show off learning. Leave all quibbles and affectation of that 
kind, and speak of the sins which are most commonly com 
mitted in the town ; attack them with an ardent zeal for the 
divine glory, but with a modesty equal to your zeal. Do not 
reprove in your sermons even public sinners, known to be such, 
and taking no pains to hide their sins. Seek them in private, 
and give them fraternal advice. 

In all your conduct consider this, that it will give me more 
pleasure to hear that you have obtained the very smallest re 
sult, even such as that expressed by this line, , 
which does not cross the whole page, without trouble or giving 

Letter to Joam Gonzalez Rodriguez. 415 

offence to any one, than that you had obtained an immense 
result, such as may hardly be represented by a line stretching 
across the whole page, thus : 

if this great success has to be wrung forth by noise and con 
tention, amid the complaints of many who consider themselves 
hurt, or even of a single such person. And so persuaded am 
I that this is a matter of supreme importance, and so that on 
this depends all hope and means of really procuring the ad 
vancement of souls for the greater glory of God, I earnestly 
beg you to let all this advice sink into your heart, and to prac 
tise it, performing all your duties, especially your sacred duties, 
with calm and love and every sign of charity, with no violence 
or angry aggression or contention with those opposed to you. 

I wish you to write to me at good length, telling me in 
minute detail the results which God has vouchsafed to work, 
by your means, in the city of Ormuz. Let me know distinctly 
how far you are living in a friendly manner with the Vicar, how 
well you get on with the other priests, how respectful you are 
towards them, and how they in return show you affection ; and 
lastly, how much favour you are in with the people, or whe 
ther, on the contrary, there be any uncomfortable reports or 
complaints current against you. Send your letter to Goa; for 
though I have settled to be leaving in three weeks, I will tell 
the fathers of the College to take care to send it on to China, 
whither I am going. I shall long to receive it, and I shall 
hope for great delight from its telling me the good news which 
I wish to hear. 

With God s grace, the affairs of Japan prosper wonderfully. 
Cosmo Torres and Joam Fernandez remain there, devoting 
themselves to the instruction of the very numerous natives who 
have embraced Christianity, and who are every day embracing 
it. Both understand the language of the country, and by the 
constant use of this necessary instrument are reaping very abun 
dant fruits. Some of ours will go this year to help them, and 
share their labours, which are so vast that I cannot express 
them in writing. They surpass beyond comparison all those 

41 6 St. Francis Xavier. 

(wonderful as they may be) which the other members of the 
Society undergo in this country. I tell you this that you may 
endeavour continually to obtain for them the Divine assistance 
in your daily prayers and sacrifices. When you write to the 
College of Goa, do not omit to add to the same packet a letter 
addressed by yourself to his Lordship the Bishop short, in 
deed, but expressing in the most marked manner your very 
profound veneration and devoted submission to him, and give 
him therein an account of all that you have done at Ormuz. 
You owe him this, both because he is our superior and also be 
cause he is full of the greatest charity towards us, and favours 
us greatly in every way in his power. 

I have written to you with so much freedom because you 
are a man of no common virtue and perfection ; one who thinks 
it a favour to be admonished, and would rather be reprehended 
usefully than be fed with empty flattery and adulation, because 
his judgment and good sense make him able to distinguish be 
tween wholesome bitters and poisonous sweets. I should have 
used blandishments and expressions meant to please, if I had 
thought I was addressing a weak-minded and feeble person ; 
but I have trusted to your strength and solidity, and have not 
hesitated to throw aside all dissembling, and let you see with 
out disguise into my inmost thoughts. Thank God, I beg of 
you, for having made you such that I have been able, without 
imprudence, to put before you the simple truth without any 
condiment. The wisdom which you have acquired in so high 
a degree by means of long continued progress renders it easy 
for you to disdain the flattery which would seduce you to evil, 
and makes you prefer rather to be scolded, than to be praised 
to your hurt and insincerely by people who fear to offend your 
weakness and foolishness. It is well for children and begin 
ners, but it would be an insult to practised soldiers in God s 
service to think that they required pampering with the milk of 
children or the soft indulgence due to nurselings. Believe me, 
I have not taken up my pen to write to you so simply and 
crudely without first imploring the light of the Holy Spirit. I 
have felt His inspiration moving me to write in all confidence in 

Alfonso Cipriani. 417 

that way which suits men who are perfect, and who have passed 
beyond the weaknesses of beginners and of those who are but 
little advanced in their career. As, by the mercy of God, we 
shall soon see one another in the glory of Paradise, I will not 
add a word more, save to beg you never to forget with what 
great love for you, as God is my witness, I have written this 
letter, and so to receive it with equal tenderness of reciprocal 
affection. In reading it, look to that same thing on which my 
eyes were fixed as I wrote \t ; that is to say, the greater glory 
of God our Lord, and the greater good of your soul, so very 
dear to me. Farewell. 

Your brother in Christ, 
College of Santa Fe, at Goa, March 22, 1552. FRANCIS. 

You must show this letter to the lord Vicar of the Bishop. 

It seems natural to place immediately after this letter of 
charitable reproof, the edge of which is taken off by the great 
display of affection which accompanies it, another letter of the 
same kind, in which some of the expressions and arguments of 
the former are reproduced. This letter is to Father Alfonso 
Cipriani, the pious old Castilian, who entered the Society and 
came out to India as an old man, and whom, after the design 
to send him as missioner to Socotra had fallen through, Francis 
had appointed to labour at Meliapor. Cipriani had known 
Ignatius, as it seems, at Barcelona before the latter went to 
Paris, and had renewed his familiarity with him at Rome, where 
he had also become acquainted with many of the first fathers 
of the Society. He was a man of indefatigable zeal and mor 
tification, and burning with desire to advance the kingdom of 
God. Some letters of his to Ignatius exist, written while he 
was at Meliapor, where he laboured for twelve years, until his 
death in 1559, when he was about seventy years of age. He 
speaks in these letters of the extremely bad moral state of 
Meliapor, especially of the Portuguese and old Christians, 
who seem now to have fallen off from the fervour which had 
been kindled in them at the time of the visit of Francis Xavier. 
He declares that Francis went to Japan and China, driven by 

VOL. n. EE 

4i 8 St. Francis Xavier. 

the injury done to all apostolical work by the scandalous lives 
of the Christians ; and he says that he himself loses four where 
he gains one, and that the Indians used it as an argument 
against the Christian preachers, that their fellow Christians, 
who were supposed to believe in and to hope for eternal good, 
showed themselves so reckless in their pursuit of temporal plea 
sures and possessions as to hesitate at no iniquity for the sake 
of securing them. As for Meliapor, he says that he expected 
to see the judgment of God descend upon it ; and in truth he 
lived to see it visited by terrible chastisements. 

Such was Alfonso Cipriani ready enough to complain even 
in violent language against the vices and moral miseries around 
him, but resolute and patient withal in cultivating the field of 
labour allotted to him under all possible disadvantages. He 
was held in great reverence by the people, even when they did 
not listen to his reproofs, and he is said to have suddenly 
become a very powerful preacher in the exercise of his zeal. 
Unfortunately, the scandal given to the people had to be laid at 
the door of some civil authorities in Meliapor, and even at that 
of the Bishop s Vicar himself. Cipriani was not a man to hold 
his tongue when his heart was full, and he spoke from the 
pulpit against the guilty parties. It would seem from the let 
ter of Francis Xavier, that there was also a quarrel between 
the Vicar and Father Alfonso, in which the latter had gone to 
law with his ecclesiastical Superior. 4 This is enough to render 
the following sharp but most loving reprehension intelligible : 

(xcv.) To Father Alfonso Cipriani. 

Very ill indeed have you understood the directions which I 
gave you to be followed in Meliapor. You show clearly what 
little good has remained to you, that you have profited very 

4 Bartoli, Asia, torn. i. p. 7x9, gives a long account of Father Cipri 
ani (or Cipriano, it is uncertain which), who was thought to enjoy some 
supernatural gifts besides his great virtues. But he does not mention the 
legal proceedings, which seem, however, implied in the letter of Francis. 

Letter to Father Alfonso. 419 

ittle, from your intercourse with our blessed Father Ignatius. 

blame you exceedingly for having also taken proceedings by 
egal writs and actions of lawyers against the Vicar. Ah, this 
s always the way in which you yield to your violent nature, 
ulling down with the left hand whatever you build with the 
ight. You must know that I have been displeased beyond 
elief by the rudeness and discourtesy with which I hear that 
ou have behaved at Meliapor. If the Vicar does not act as 
e ought, most certainly he will not be taught better by such 
eproofs from you, especially when they are pressed upon him 
o imprudently as has been the case now. You have been so 
ong accustomed never to cross your own will in the very least 
legree that wherever you are you offend every one, and give 
ery clear proofs of your intractable and churlish disposition to 
11 who have to deal with you. God grant that one day even 

late you may repent of these imprudent acts ! 

I entreat you, by your love for God our Lord, to learn to 
ontrol that hard and stubborn mind of yours, and to make up 
y good works in the future for the faults you have hitherto 
ommitted. And do not flatter yourself by ascribing these 
avage movements of passion to natural severity of character, 
his is no fault of disposition, but of extreme negligence and 
ulpable disregard of your greatest duties, which you owe to 
our own conscience and to your neighbours, those ofobe- 
ience, moderation, and charity. If you do not believe this 
n my word, you may assure yourself that you will see it most 
learly at the hour of your death. I earnestly entreat you, in 
le name of our blessed Father Ignatius, to learn during these 
ew days remaining to you before that last hour to learn and 
practise self possession, meekness, patience, modesty, and 
ubmission. Understand that all things are brought about by 
umility. If you cannot do as much as you wish, do what you 
can accomplish in quietness and goodness. In these parts of 
ndia there is no gaining anything by violence ; and the good 
r hich might undoubtedly be done by patience, submissiveness, 
and moderation is stifled in its very birth by foolish outbursts 
f anger, quarrelsomeness, and violent passion. Good that is 

42O St. Francis Xavier. 

done without offence or disturbance, even though in itself not 

greater than this little line , is much better and greater than 

good gained in another way, though it appears ever so much 
larger, so as to be expressed by a line which reaches across the 
whole page. 

I greatly fear that all I have now said may not be sufficient 
to bring you back into the right path ; but I know, and I wish 
you too to know, and T tell you beforehand for certain, that 
when you come to pass from this life to the next you will suffer 
very sharp stings of conscience for this bad and indiscreet con 
duct of yours. 

Francesco Gonzalez Fernandez seems to me like you in 
everything harsh, irritable, and impatient; you are both made 
after the same type, and are in the habit of giving the specious 
names of zeal and religion to the outbreaks of your unbridled 
passions. That speech of yours certainly has a very grand 
sound : What ? can we endure in silence to see injury done 
to God s glory, and obstacles placed in the way of saving 
souls ? How then? do you repair that injury, or do you heap 
fresh mischief upon it, by the storm and tumult of detestable 
quarrels ? I repeat it you will never obtain from the Vicar 
by threats and contentions what you cannot obtain by modesty 
and humility. 

By that piety and obedience which you both acknowledge 
that you owe, and will not deny that you wish to pay, to our 
Father Ignatius, I beseech both of you, immediately after read 
ing this letter, to go to the Vicar, and, prostrate on the ground 
before him, each of you humbly to ask his pardon for every 
thing which you have done not pleasing to him ; then kiss his 
hand ; and if you wish to give me a very great consolation, let 
me hear that you have both humbled yourselves so far as of 
your own accord to kiss his feet ; by which you will seal by so 
much surer a proof your repentance for past faults, and your 
promise that you will be modest for the future, and do nothing 
contrary to his will while you are at Meliapor. Believe me 
that to have done this will be a very great comfort to you at 

Letter to Father Alfonso. 42 1 

the hour of death. Put your confidence in our Lord God, and 
do not doubt that if your moderation is known to all men, you 
will easily obtain whatever you ask which is for the glory of 
God and the salvation of souls. 

The manifest error of you two, and of all like you, consists 
in this : you think that the mere name of the Society of Jesus 
gives you a sort of hereditary right to great consideration from 
every one, before you have gained it by great and remarkable 
proofs of the lowliest humility. Doubtless you remember the 
great veneration shown by all, both high and low, to our Father 
Ignatius ; and you think it just that you should be treated by 
all with the same respect yourselves, although you have given 
no proof at all of those virtues by which he merited such con 
sideration. What you should have done was first to imitate 
the good works of our Father, and try to win those more ex 
cellent graces of his which moved our Lord God to give him 
such favour in the sight of all men ; for that is a vain and fool 
ish confidence of yours which leads you, who have given little 
or no public proof of eminent virtue, to expect that these fruits 
of respect and popular favour, which are the reward of very 
great self abasement, will fall to your lot who are so forgetful 
of religious humility, as even to be angry if people do not pay 
you this respect, and show themselves in all things obedient 
and submissive to your will. 

I well know that you will be eloquent in excusing these 
errors, and that you would assure me that if I were with you, 
I should not consider that there is any fault in all this, since 
you only engaged in this suit from a motive of pure love of 
God, and zeal for the salvation of souls. But now from this 
time forth I give you warning and desire you to be fully con 
vinced, that you will only waste your breath in excusing this 
fault, however skilfully, to me ; and you may rest assured that 
in my opinion your cause will be certainly lost, and I add be 
sides that by trying to defend an action which cannot be ap 
proved you would cause me great displeasure, in addition to 
your fault ; and I must confess, on the contrary, that nothing 
would be more delightful to me than to hear that you have 

St. Francis Xavier. 

freely acknowledged and condemned the fault you have com 
mitted in all this. 

No let the past, which is beyond recall, be corrected, as 
far as possible, by penitence, and let every precaution be taken 
in providing for the future. For the rest, I beg you above all 
things to take great and continual pains that there may be no 
more suits or contentions with the Vicar, the priests, the Gover 
nor, or any magistrates whatever, no matter how evident and 
public their faults may be. I would rather that you should 
apply a gentle remedy, as far as you can in conscience do so ; 
abstain from all remedies which cause disturbances, and are 
worse than the disease itself, and do not risk losing by anger 
and violence all the fruit which you might bring to maturity 
by humility and meekness. 

So far this letter has been written at my dictation ; in what 
follows you will recognize my hand and heart. O Cipriani ! if 
you knew with what love I write those words to you, you would 
surely remember me night and day, and it may be that you 
would not be able to restrain your tears in thinking of the most 
tender and ardent charity burning with which I take you to my 
heart. O, would to Heaven that the hidden secrets of our hearts ; 
could be revealed in this life ! then, believe me, my brother 
Cipriani, you would clearly see how deeply your name is en 
graved in the inmost depths of my soul. Farewell. 

Yours wholly, so that I never can forget you, 

April 1552. FRANCIS. 

The next letter is an instruction to Father Antonio Eredia, 
one of those who had last arrived from Portugal, to whom 
Francis at this time intrusted the mission at Cochin. 

(xcvi.) To Father Antonio Eredia. 

Here are the instructions which I prescribe to you to follow 
in Cochin. First of all, endeavour as far as in you lies, by all 
industry, and with all your might, to gain to yourself the love 
of all the people, of the priests, the religious, and more es- 

Instruction to Antonio Eredia. 423 

pectally the brothers and managers of the Church of our Lady 
the Mother of God; using the utmost diligence, and employing 
all ways and means, to convince them that your only desire is 
to further their wishes, and to do your part in increasing the 
devotion and veneration of the people towards that holy temple 
of the Mother of God. Visit them, therefore, frequently with all 
courtesy, and in your spiritual necessities, doubts, and troubles, 
have recourse to them, and consult them with confidence. 

Make known to the Brothers of Mercy the corporal necessi 
ties of the poor who ask your help, pleading the cause of the 
sufferers before them, and obtaining from that Confraternity the 
assistance which you are unable to afford yourself owing to our 
want of means, which you must not conceal. Explain also to 
the poor, that what you give them is not out of your purse, but 
that it comes from the liberality of the Confraternity of Mercy. 
When on such occasions they come to you to make known the 
penury under which they are, you should take the opportunity 
of explaining to them that other need of which they are less 
sensible, and which they take less pains to relieve of spiritual 
help for the soul : help which, if they desired it, they could 
always have abundantly and at hand ; exhorting them earnestly 
not to neglect this, but to turn their thoughts to God, to adore 
and pray to Him, and to obtain His mercy by having recourse 
to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist : show them 
that you are ready to help them in this, and assure them that 
when they have performed this first duty, you will not fail to 
obtain them help for their other temporal wants as to food and 
money in the manner already mentioned. 

In your promiscuous intercourse with persons of all condi 
tions, take great pains that your behaviour be such that all 
equally may see in you a modesty free from pride. Never speak 
to any one except kindly and respectfully, showing carefully 
to both priests and seculars the degree of regard due to each, 
and remembering the words of St. Gregory, that humility begets 
love, and pride begets hatred. If any fruit should follow your 
labours, be careful not to desire any praise for yourself, and if 
it should be given to you, not to appropriate it, but to attribute 

424 St. Francis Xavier. 

it all to those who have advised and assisted you, gratefully and 
frankly acknowledging that they are the principal authors of 
those good works. If you desire the good name and credit of 
our Society to flourish, and if this is the end of your efforts, 
you must be firmly convinced that you will only help to and 
attain your object by giving great proof in your intercourse 
with every one of humility and modesty altogether removed 
from all appearance of pride. For seeing you truly humble, peo 
ple will suppose that the other members of the Society whom 
they do not see are like you who are present before them, and 
will then form a true idea of the religious of the Society of 
Jesus, and regard our Institute with that approval and affection 
which every one readily gives to those who despise themselves. 

This is the only way to spread abroad a good opinion of 
our Society, as you will more easily perceive by remembering 
that those who were the first to make this Order famous by 
the labours which they undertook for the honour of the Church, 
did so indeed by the practice of every virtue, but more especi 
ally by showing themselves everywhere the brightest examples 
of the contempt of human glory, and of true humility, which 
they regarded as the foundation of the other virtues. By imi 
tating them you will show yourself wjOtfthy of bearing the name, 
and will promote the reputation of the Society. In any other 
way you would go astray, and you would be the means of de 
stroying the work which they have built up. 

Remember, above all things, that influence with the people, 
and the favour and applause of the multitude, are the gift of 
God alone, Who gives it to those only whom He sees to be 
so well fortified in solid virtue that He may fairly trust them 
to make good use of so powerful a talent for their own salvation 
and for that of those to whose advantage they devote them 
selves. On the other hand, those whom God sees disposed to 
usurp the credit of any success that may attend their ministra 
tion, and to make a boast of it, He is wont to deprive of their gift, 
not giving them popularity, and not allowing them to be borne 
along by the fair wind of public favour, lest His gifts should be 
despised, being ascribed to human efforts, and lest the ignorant 

Instruction to Antonio Eredia. 425 

multitude, incapable of distinguishing between saints and im 
perfect persons, should attribute the honour due to true apos 
tolic labourers to tepid men, careless in God s service and 
decked out by undeserved and false praises with a fallacious 
appearance of exquisite virtue. Pray, therefore, continually 
and fervently, that our Lord God may give you grace to know 
and feel in the inmost depths of your soul of how many and 
great hindrances to the spread of the Gospel you have been 
the cause, and how your faults had prevented God from making 
Himself known as He would wish to the people intrusted to 
you, and whom you have so ill cared for: since through your 
own defects you are wanting in the influence essential and 
fitted to convince them of necessary truths ; and that because 
you have not merited that heavenly gift by the requisite fervour 
and fidelity. _.. 

When, at the hour appointed for us by our Society for the 
daily examen of conscience, you go through all your actions 
for the purpose of discovering your faults, do not fail to examine 
yourself very strictly on your manner of preaching the word of 
God from the pulpit, of administering the Sacrament of Penance 
in the sacred tribunal, and lastly, on your familiar conversations 
and daily intercourse with all classes of persons. Look very 
closely into what you have from negligence omitted to do, or 
what you have done badly, and resolve seriously on the neces 
sary amendment, which you must then carry out with great 
fidelity. For if as soon as you have perceived your fault you strive 
to correct it, our merciful Lord will not fail to accompany your 
repentance with. His voluntary gifts, and to turn even your past 
errors to your great profit by loading you with His graces. 

I do not, however, wish you to place, as many do, your 
hope of winning the affection of the people in human arts, or to 
take cunning measures forgetting yourself liked and spoken well 
of by the multitude, so as to act and speak in a way that flatters 
and pleases them. Such arts are utterly unworthy of a preacher 
of the Gospel ; and besides that they take with them as an 
inseparable companion that most dangerous craving for the 
empty praise of the people, are also injurious to Christ our 

426 St. Francis Xavier. 

Lord, whose honour they ought to seek and look to before 
everything else. And such preachers prefer their own credit, 
seeking their own fame as the first thing ; and when once they 
have obtained it, as if they have obtained all that they want, 
they relax that fervent zeal which they ought to have, to do their 
utmost to promote the greater glory of God by a real conversion 
of souls. 

I charge you to weigh what I have said most attentively in 
your mind, and to flood and penetrate its inmost recesses with 
these good sentiments : and if, in meditating on divine things, 
our most merciful God should favour you, as is His wont, with 
some heavenly illumination, do not let it escape from your 
mind, but note it down in some little book to assist your me 
mory. Believe me, that a great part of the real spiritual profit 
of God s servants consists in such observation, and in carefully 
recalling to mind pieces of knowledge of this sort given to them 
in mental prayer and meditation. And if any one who has 
from time to time been favoured with these flashes of divine 
light writes down the truths revealed by them, he will read 
them over again after a while, with a very great increase of 
affection and advantage that is to say, when he has himself 
experienced what he had set down in writing. He will then v 
recall to mind those beautiful thoughts, and taste again those 
keen feelings which had passed from his memory ; or at least 
he will gain from their clearer consideration the salutary vigour 
which will enable him to labour fervently, and to think wisely 
according to the needs of his present circumstances. Great in 
deed is the difference of savour and spiritual sweetness in ordi 
nary readers of those things written by the saints when fresh 
from their conversations with God, and in those who read again 
in them what they have themselves experienced and made their 
own ! But it is certain that the reading of such things is of 
small profit to those who have not this sort of memory and 
interior of them. 

I advise you, therefore, strongly to make a little journal, 
and to note down carefully in it the secret illuminations with 
which God has enlightened your mind in your daily medita- 

Instruction to Antonio Eredia. 427 

tions. Value them very highly, and esteem yourself unworthy of 
them, humbling yourself, as you ought, all the more deeply be 
cause of these labours with which He exalts you. 

Take great and practical pains to acquire a good number 
of wise and faithful friends, even among seculars, who are sharp 
sighted enough to observe the faults you commit in preaching, 
in hearing confessions, and in all other such functions, and also 
free enough to point them out to you with all sincerity; so that, 
knowing your defects by these means, you may correct them 
properly, and avoid them for the future. 

In the administration of the Sacrament of Penance avoid a 
perfunctory haste, and show a patient attention to your busi 
ness, so as to urge on your penitents to greater and more cer 
tain progress ; and if, in this way, you should have to do with 
persons requiring and capable of receiving spiritual help, and 
who are also in tolerably easy circumstances, so that they are 
both desirous and able to give some time to the affairs of their 
souls, then, after hearing their confession, persuade them to 
wait for a few days, and to employ the time in conceiving a real 
hatred of their sins, and sorrow for having offended a God infi 
nite in power, and supreme in all that attracts love. To this 
end, you should set them to meditate on death, judgment, and 
the pains suffered by the lost in hell; by means of which me 
ditations they will understand in what fearful evils they have 
entangled themselves by sin, and conceive so great a hatred and 
disgust of their past transgressions, that they will shed real 
tears of penitence from a contrite heart, and make a purpose of 
amendment, such that it may be reasonably hoped that they 
will sin no more in future. 

Especially is this method to be observed with those who are 
living in occasions of sin, and among hindrances to good works, 
and who, therefore, considering the frailty of human nature, 
cannot be safely believed when they promise amendment of 
life, without some pledge of security. Such are persons who 
have been at enmity, and have not yet been reconciled to their 
enemies : those who have not yet so abandoned intercourse 
with the objects of criminal attachments as to be considered 

428 St. Francis Xavier. 

safe from falling^when they find themselves on the slippery 
ground of the recurrence of dangerous occasions : lastly, those 
who are in possession of the property of another, and have 
hitherto sought pretexts for delaying restitution. You should 
engage all such persons, after confession, in pious exercises 
suited to their state, and not give them absolution till you 
consider that they have made satisfaction, and on dismissing 
them exhort them to come frequently in future to the sacred 
tribunal of Penance. 

As often as you sho